Skip to main content

French secret service killed Gaddafi on Sarkozy’s orders, says report

New revelations reignite rumours that Sarkozy was behind Gaddafi's 2011 killing
Gaddafi and Sarkozy inside Gaddafi's infamous tent in 2007 (AFP)

Libya’s former leader Muammar Gaddafi was killed by a French secret service agent, acting on the direct orders of France’s ex-President Nicholas Sarkozy, media reports out on Saturday have claimed.

According to sources quoted in UK’s Daily Mail newspaper, Sarkozy who ruled France from 2007 to 2012, sent secret service agents to infiltrate local gangs that were trying to locate Gaddafi as his regime collapsed in the wake of the Arab Spring.

The agent then shot Gaddafi in the head, the Daily Mail quoted a “well-placed sources in the North African country” as saying.

The source said that the killing was sanctioned to prevent Gaddafi being interrogated or standing trial and revealing the true nature of his dealings with Sarkozy, as well as other western leaders.

“Sarkozy had every reason to try to silence the colonel and as quickly as possible,” the Tripoli-based source told the UK paper.

Stay informed with MEE's newsletters

Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked


Before NATO launched a UN-sanctioned bombing campaign, aimed at ousting Gaddafi in 2011, the eccentric Libyan dictator appeared to have strong ties with several European leaders, including Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi and Britain’s Tony Blair.

Sarkozy, however, was rocked by a scandal in March 2012 when it emerged that Gaddafi had given 50 mn euros ($67 mn) to his presidential campaign – an allegation Sarkozy strongly denies.

The rumour mill around Gaddafi’s killing has been spinning for years, with Mahmoud Jibril, who served as interim Prime Minister following Gaddafi's overthrow, telling Egyptian TV in 2012: 'It was a foreign agent who mixed with the revolutionary brigades to kill Gaddafi.' 

Reports at this time in Italian media also quoted sources that alleged a French agent was behind the October 2011 killing.

“Since the beginning of NATO's support for the revolutio - strongly backed by the government of Nicolas Sarkozy - Gaddafi openly threatened to reveal details of his relationship with the former president of France, including the millions of dollars paid to finance his candidacy at the 2007 elections,” Italian newspaper Corriere della Serra quoted Libyan diplomatic sources as saying. 

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.