Franco-Lebanese businessman Ziad Takieddine (c) at the Paris courthouse, October 7, 2019Bertrand GUAY
The intermediary Noël Dubus and a lawyer were indicted on Wednesday, in particular for suspicion of fraud in a part of the investigation into the possible Libyan financing of the 2007 presidential campaign of Nicolas Sarkozy, AFP learned on Friday from sources familiar with the matter.
Asked by AFP, the national financial prosecutor’s office (PNF) confirmed that Mr. Dubus, as well as a lawyer, Me Gérald Pandelon, had been indicted for fraud in an organized gang, forgery and use of forgery.
Mr. Pandelon, who once worked as counsel for Mr. Dubus, was recently the subject of a search.
Noël Dubus, already convicted of fraud, is one of the main protagonists of the judicial investigation opened in June 2021 on suspicion of payments to the intermediary Ziad Takieddine, with the possible endorsement of Nicolas Sarkozy, so that he withdraws his accusations against the former head of state of having received Libyan money to finance his victorious presidential campaign in 2007, already under judicial investigation since 2013.
The investigation into these suspicions of witness tampering, conducted in Paris, brought to light a possible attempt to bribe Lebanese magistrates aimed at releasing one of Gaddafi’s sons, Hannibal, detained in Lebanon.
Certain protagonists of the file imagined that his release would make it possible to obtain in exchange of the elements exonerating Nicolas Sarkozy, who disputes any Libyan financing.
In early August 2021, Noël Dubus, 54, filed a complaint for “death threats” and “blackmail” against a financier, Pierre Reynaud, his alleged henchman Karim M., as well as the alleged companion of Karim M.
He said he had obtained mid-May 2021 from Pierre Reynaud “financial assistance of 100,000 euros” to “pay Hannibal Gaddafi’s bail” and have him released.
But Mr. Dubus said his arrest in June 2021, along with other people suspected of having tried to turn Mr. Takieddine, including Mr. Reynaud or the “queen of the paparazzi” Mimi Marchand, prevented him from completing his mission, to be remunerated and therefore to reimburse Mr. Reynaud.
The exchanges with Mr. Reynaud would then have turned sour and Karim M. and a woman would have come to “violate” a press officer close to Mr. Dubus, Anne T., before coming to threaten him at his home.
Pierre Reynaud and Karim M. were indicted in the fall in this part of the case, the subject of a separate judicial investigation, in particular for “extortion of funds”.
Maurice Lantourne, lawyer for the first, had indicated in the fall that “it is the victim who finds himself prosecuted”, contesting any violence on the part of Mr. Reynaud.
Contacted, Me Laurent Akansel, lawyer for Noël Dubus, did not wish to comment.
Me David-Olivier Kaminski recalled that his client Me Gérald Pandelon, quoted in the investigation in particular for a loan to Mr. Reynaud, was “presumed innocent”.
Me Pandelon himself told AFP “to appear very on the sidelines of the file”: “it would seem rather that it is an error, negligence, rather, than an intentional infringement”.
This week, another protagonist of the case, the advertiser Arnaud de la Villesbrunne, was also placed in police custody with MM. Dubus and Pandelon before being released at its end, confirmed the PNF.