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French President to Sue Website for Defamation


French President Nicolas Sarkozy (C), UMP party candidate for re-election in the 2012 French presidential elections, waves as he arrives to Chateaurenard before a campaign rally in Avignon, France, April 30, 2012.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy (C), UMP party candidate for re-election in the 2012 French presidential elections, waves as he arrives to Chateaurenard before a campaign rally in Avignon, France, April 30, 2012.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy says he will bring charges against a news website for claiming that late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi had offered to give him $50 million to help finance his first presidential bid.

French website Mediapart reported Saturday that it had obtained a 2006 Libyan document signed by Libya's then-intelligence chief, Moussa Koussa, with the offer.

Sarkozy told France Television Two Monday that the claim was grotesque, and said he would file a lawsuit before the end of the current presidential campaign.

Sarkozy spearheaded Western military intervention that helped drive the Libyan leader from power in a 2011 popular uprising.

France will hold a runoff election Sunday, with Sarkozy trailing socialist candidate Francois Hollande in opinion polls. Hollande emerged as the frontrunner in the April 22 first-round vote, edging the incumbent with 28 percent of the vote to Sarkozy's 27 percent.

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