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Frenchman linked to Sarkozy probe faces January UK extradition hearing

AFP  |  London 

A key figure arrested in Britain as part of a in into former on Monday had his hearing set for January.

French investigators want to question over the alleged illegal financing of Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 campaign by former Libyan leader

Djouhri will face a four-day hearing at Magistrates Court in from January 21 to 24. His lawyers sought to have his bail conditions eased but Vanessa Baraitser, hearing the case at the court, refused.

Djouhri was excused attendance for the 40-minute case management hearing.

The hearing will be the next time that the case appears before the court.

Outstanding defence evidence must be submitted by November 16, with the French authorities to respond by December 7 and all the documents in the case to be brought together by December 14.

Five witnesses were being lined up to give evidence in Djouhri's defence, including a doctor, the court heard. Djouhri was detained at Heathrow Airport in January under a European arrest warrant.

French investigators are examining the businessman's alleged involvement in the 2009 sale of a villa in the French for around 10 million euros.

A Libyan investment fund managed by Kadhafi's ex-bought the property at a "very inflated" price, and Djouhri is suspected of being its true owner, a source close to the inquiry has told AFP.

Investigators also suspect he helped Saleh get out of in early 2012, in a private jet headed for Niger, as he faced a Libyan arrest warrant a few months after Kadhafi's overthrow.

Djouhri was released on bail on health grounds in February after suffering from heart problems. He underwent surgery earlier this year, a source close to the case previously told AFP.

A planned interview with French judicial officials last month did not take place.

Djouhri must adhere to bail conditions which mean he must stay in his home from 2:00am to 6:00am and report to a police station between 12:00pm and 4:00pm. He must also remain within the borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the neighbouring City of district.

Djouhri's said the bail conditions were "extremely onerous".

Ben Watson, appearing on behalf of the French authorities, countered: "We remain opposed to any variation of the current conditions." Baraitser concluded: "This court needs to be able to fix his whereabouts on a regular basis.

"There is no other condition that allows the court to do that," other than reporting to a police station.

"In those circumstances, I do not allow the variation of his bail." faces trial for illegal campaign financing and has been charged with accepting millions of euros in funding from Kadhafi.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, November 05 2018. 20:30 IST