Crime and Punishment? – Consortiumnews

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is under investigation for allegedly receiving millions of euros in illegal election campaign funding from Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi. This must be placed in the broader context of war crimes by Western heads of state, Gilbert Doctorow explains.

By Gilbert Doctorow

The relationship between Sarkozy and Gaddafi fits the pattern of the old mafia joke: “You’re my friend. I kill you for nothing.”

Two news items jostled for attention on the front pages of mainstream newspapers and news bulletins of the main television channels on the Old Continent last week. One was the Sergei Skripal “nerve agent attack” and Theresa May’s attempts to find support among EU leaders for a common stand against Russia as perpetrator. The other was the arrest and questioning of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy over allegations that he took 50 million euros in cash from Libyan leader Muamar Gaddafi in 2007 for the election campaign that won him the presidency.

France’s ex-president is accused of receiving €50m in campaign funds from Muammar Gaddafi. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

The Skripal story of “the Russians did it” had its day in court in Brussels on Thursday and Friday during the summit of EU leaders at the European Council, the EU’s chief executive body. The deliberations ended in verbal support for May: the EU said it was recalling its ambassador to Moscow for four weeks of consultations. As EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker explained at a press conference, however, the EU faces important challenges which require active coordination with Russia, so channels of communication must remain open.

But then on Monday, Germany, Poland and France expelled four Russian diplomats; the Czech Republic and Lithuania expelled three; Denmark, Italy, and The Netherlands two apiece; and one each from Latvia, Estonia, Romania, Finland, Sweden and Ireland. (The U.S. topped them all with 60 Russian diplomats expelled and the closing of Russia’s Seattle consulate, further undermining the Democratic Party narrative that President Donald Trump is a Russia “puppet.”) On Tuesday, NATO kicked out 13 Russians,…

Read more