Libya: when Takieddine played the role of secret emissary (2005-2009)

In 2005, the Sarkozy clan lost all hope of signing the Miksa contract after they were blocked by the intervention of Sarkozy’s fellow conservative rival and then-president Jacques Chirac. So they turned to the Libyan regime of the late dictator Muammar Gaddafi in an attempt to sell contracts in the fields of weapons and energy. Ziad Takieddine was to play a key role at the centre of the negotiations with Tripoli.

Go back to summary: The Takieddine files

Document online since
26.08.2011

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Takieddine, an economic intelligence company and a Franco-Libyan ‘think tank’

Between 2005 and 2006, Ziad Takieddine teamed up with an economic intelligence company called Salamandre, headed by Pierre Sellier, a figure with a reputation for being close to the French intelligence services. Apart from preparing commercial contract propositions for the Libyans, the two planned the creation of a Franco-Libyan think tank. Two of its eminent members were to be General François Mermet, the former head of the French intelligence agency and a board member of Salamandre, and Michel Lacarrière, another former intelligence chief and who also sat on the Salamandre board. Sellier was to be in charge of the ‘general secretariat’ of the institute, overseeing logistical and financial operations. In the end, the think tank was never launched.

Document online since
30.07.2011

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Takieddine’s involvement in a contract-bidding visit to Libya by Sagem directors

On September 22nd 2005, Takieddine sent by fax a letter to an official of the Gaddafi regime confirming the visit, planned for September 30th, of three directors of the French defence electronics and communications systems company Sagem. The object of their visit was to sell to the Libyans a system for making passports and biometric identity cards, a contract that was to be engaged “under the supervision of the French Minister of the Interior”, Nicolas Sarkozy.

Document online since
30.07.2011

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Interior minister Sarkozy receives congratulations from his Libyan counterpart

On June 22nd 2005, just weeks after Sarkozy’s re-appointment as French interior minister, his Libyan counterpart wrote to congratulate him. In his letter to Sarkozy, Libyan Minister for Public Security, Nasr al-Mabrouk Abdullah, whose official title was Secretary of the Popular Committees and National Security, expressed his “wish to establish a serious cooperation in all the fields of security” and his “will to meet you as quickly as possible, in Paris or Tripoli”. Within months, Takieddine began preparing meetings with the Tripoli regime for the negotiation of commercial contracts.

Document online since
30.07.2011

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Takieddine, Sarkozy seek grace for Gaddafi’s murderous security chief and airline bomber, Abdullah Senussi

While France sought the favour of the Libyan regime of Colonel Gaddafi, with the aim of winning numerous commercial contracts, Nicolas Sarkozy’s team did all it could, through the mediating services of Ziad Takieddine, to give a favourable response to one of Gaddafi’s first demands. This was to put an end to the judicial consequences of a life imprisonment sentence pronounced by a French court in 1999 against Gaddafi’s brother-in-law and security chief, Abdullah Senussi, for his part in the 1989 bombing of a French UTA airline passenger plane over Niger, in which 170 people lost their lives. Following the in absentia sentence, an international arrest warrant was issued against Senussi. Lawyer Thierry Herzog, a personal friend of Sarkozy’s and subsequently his legal counsel after the latter became president, was contacted by a Libyan law firm to assess Abdullah Senussi’s chances of appealing his conviction in absentia for the 1989 UTA airliner bombing. The possibility of a visit by Herzog to Tripoli, for which "all travel expenses would be covered" by the Libyan regime, is also mentioned in the letter addressed to him by Senussi’s Libyan lawyer Azza Maghur. The correspondence followed on a meeting held just days earlier when Maghur asked Herzog how the amended rules on in absentia trials (under the French ‘Perben II’ law of 2004) might change the situation for the six Libyans, including Senussi, found guilty and sentenced for the bombing.

Document online since
30.07.2011

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Sarkozy writes directly to Gaddafi’s public security minister

On September 10th 2005, then-interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy wrote to Gaddafi’s public security minister Nasr al-Mabrouk Abdullah confirming his keenness to visit Libya. Upon Takieddine’s advice, he wrote: "Monsieur Claude Guéant, my principal private secretary, could travel to Tripoli before the end of September in order to prepare the talks that we will have."

Document online since
30.07.2011

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Takieddine’s ‘confidential’ note to Guéant

On September 6th 2005, arms dealer Ziad Takieddine sent a "confidential" note to Claude Guéant headed "Visit of the Minister, October 6th 2005" in which he detailed the agenda for Sarkozy’s planned visit to Libya. Apart from political matters to be discussed with the Libyans, on the subjects of terrorism, immigration and the situation in North Africa, progressing with the contracts - systems for border protection, identity cards and passports - was a high priority. Takieddine urged that Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit should be preceded by a preparatory visit by his chief-of-staff Guéant, one which was "of extreme importance".

Document online since
30.07.2011

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Takieddine organises Guéant’s preparatory visit to Tripoli

On September 22nd 2005, Ziad Takieddine sent a note to Claude Guéant organizing the latter’s imminent visit to Libya in preparation for an official visit by Nicolas Sarkozy. On the agenda were a series of arms contracts, which would in theory normally be managed by the French defence ministry and not by the Ministry of the Interior, then headed by Sarkozy.

Document online since
30.07.2011

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Sarkozy’s chief-of-staff details his dates for a visit to Tripoli

On September 23rd 2005, Claude Guéant, chief-of-staff to then-interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy, sent the Libyan public security minister Nasr al-Mabrouk Abdullah a letter confirming he would arrive in Tripoli on September 30th to prepare a visit by Sarkozy to Libya planned for October.

Document online since
30.07.2011

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Sarkozy’s trusted servitor Brice Hortefeux also joined in trips to Libya

Brice Horetefeux is a longstanding close friend and political servitor of Nicolas Sarkozy. After the latter became president in 2007, Hortefeux was, successively, named as Minister for Immigration, Labour and finally, the Interior. In 2005, Hortefeux served under then-interior minister Sarkozy as junior minister with responsibility for French regional authorities. On November 15th 2005, Hortefeux travelled to Libya, invited by the regime in Tripoli, to discuss what he described as "different questions of common interest and to favour relations between the Great Jamahiriya and France in the framework of interior security and decentralized cooperation [projects]".

Document online since
30.07.2011

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A signals encryption system to thwart Echelon spying on Gaddafi

In April 2006, Ziad Takieddine introduced French electronics firm i2e, specialized in electronic warfare technology, to the Libyan regime of Colonel Gaddafi. The aim was to sell the Libyans a communications encryption system. The documents prepared for the Libyans by i2e boasted of the firm’s ability to counter-act the covert US-led global surveillance and communications interception system, Echelon.

Document online since
30.07.2011

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Takieddine’s commissions paid by French electronics company i2e

In the framework of a contract to sell the Libyan regime a system for the secure encryption of its communications, Ziad Takieddine received two commission payments from French electronics company i2e between 2007 and 2008. One, to the value of 2.4 million euros was paid to the arms dealer’s holding company Como, and the other, to the value of 2.07 million euros, was paid to another of his companies, Tristar, amounting to a total of almost 4.5 million euros. The commissions were paid despite the fact that such payments had become illegal in France as of the year 2000.

Document online since
30.07.2011

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A US law firm tasked by the Libyans to handle the legal aspects of the liberation of the Bulgarian nurses

In this document, Ziad Takieddine recounts the results of his meeting with Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Senussi, Gaddafi’s brother-in-law and security chief. The aim of the talks was to obtain agreement from the Libyan regime on the plan mapped out by US law firm Patton Boggs for the payment of indemnities to the families of the children allegedly infected with HIV by the Bulgarian nurses and Palestinian medic.

Document online since
30.07.2011

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Sarkozy’s chief-of-staff seeks Takieddine’s validation of letters for Libya

In 2007, during secret negotiations with the Gaddafi regime for the freeing of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian medic jailed in Libya for allegedly conspiring to infect Libyan children with the HIV virus, newly-elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s chief-of-staff, Claude Guéant, sought Ziad Takieddine’s corrections and validation of two letters prepared by Guéant and which Takieddine was to pass on to the Libyan dictator’s son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.