Chirac got 3 million euros from Ivory Coast : Gbagbo aide
Former French president Jacques Chirac received three million euros ($4 million0 from Ivory Coast in 2002 to finance his electoral campaign, a top aide to ousted Ivorian leader Laurent Gbagbo said Sunday.
Mamadou Koulibaly, a former number two in the Gbagbo government and now speaker of the National Assembly, was confirming charges made by Robert Bourgi, a lawyer with a network of African contacts who advised Chirac before changing camps in 2005 to aid now President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Bourgui, who made the allegations in France's Journal du Dimanche newspaper, said he "took part in handing over several briefcases to Jacques Chirac in person, at Paris city hall," when the future president was mayor in the 1980s and 1990s.
"There was never less than five million CFA francs (more than 750,000 euros). It could go up to 15 million," Bourgi said, giving a detailed account of how Chirac would offer him beer while allegedly putting away the bundles of cash.
"Robert Bourgi is perfectly right," Koulibaly told AFP, adding that the sum was "around two billion West African CFA francs (around three million euros) brought from Abidjan to Paris in a suitcase."
"I told the president (Gbagbo) that we're a poor country and we shouldn't have to pay to finance elections for politicians in rich countries," Koulibaly lamented.
© 2011 AFP