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Ex-French President Nicolas Sarkozy faces criminal probe over claims he took bribes to help Qatar land 2022 World Cup

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The 62-year-old politician's dealings will be probed by prosecutors in his own country after the massively wealthy Gulf state was effectively accused of paying to host the contest. Mr Sarkozy is already an indicted criminal suspect in France after a Paris judge in February ordered him to stand trial over illegal campaign funding. He is said to have falsified accounts during his unsuccessful presidential campaign for re-election in 2012 after serving just one term in office. Other Sarkozy sleaze enquiries include accusations that he accepted millions in laundered money from the late Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Now it is Mr Sarkozy's role in wooing Qatari investors to France, and potentially accepting cash in the process, that is under scrutiny. A spokesman for financial prosecutors in the French capital said they were 'involved in preliminary enquiries' into the Qatar World Cup bid, that received huge backing from Mr Sarkozy. They are also looking at a related deal that saw Qatari company Qatari Diar buy a five per cent stake on French multinational waste and energy company Veoliain April 2010. Then-FIFA President Sepp Blatter announcing in 2010 that Qatar will be hosting the 2022 World Cup +3 Then-FIFA President Sepp Blatter announcing in 2010 that Qatar will be hosting the 2022 World Cup It is thought that the equivalent of just under £164m was 'siphoned off on the sidelines' in relation to the Veolia deal, according to the Daily Telegraph. France was a firm supporter of the unusual bid to hold the World Cup in Qatar, despite scorching summer temperatures and only a nominal footballing history. According to the Telegraph, Sarkozy 'may have received funds from transactions negotiated around the time of the 2022 bid [in 2010], including from the sale of Paris Saint-Germain football club to Qatar.'