Nicolas Sarkozy and former  Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in  Paris in 2007
Nicolas Sarkozy and former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in Paris in 2007 Reuters

A French channel's recorded interview with late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi will allegedly reveal that he funded ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 presidential campaign.

In the France 3 TV audio recording, to be broadcast today [29 January], Gaddafi reportedly said his move to finance Sarkozy was part of his political strategy.

"Sarkozy is mentally deficient... It's thanks to me that he became president... We gave him the funds that allowed him to win," Gaddafi told French journalist Delphine Minoui, according to France 24.

The interview took place on 16 March 2011 after France officially recognised the Libyan opposition. Sarkozy led the Nato campaign against the Libyan dictator.

"For us, as Libyans, if the president of France wins elections thanks to our funds, it is a real advantage," Gaddafi said.

Gaddafi died from bullet wounds in 2011, after dominating Libya for more than 40 years.

In the interview, he reportedly said Sarkozy personally asked him for financial support when he was still France's interior minister.

The former French president received Gaddafi at the presidential palace, the Elysée, in December 2007 – just seven months after being sworn in as French president.

Claims over this alleged financial help have been made in the past.

Last June, Gaddafi's interpreter Moftah Missouri said Gaddafi had told him personally that $20m (£13m) were donated to Sarkozy's 2007 campaign.

The first allegations against the ex-French president were made by one of Gaddafi's sons, Saif al-Islam.

In an interview with conservative daily Le Figaro, Missouri said: "Gaddafi himself told me personally, verbally, that Libya had transferred about $20m".

Sarkozy, who lost the 2012 presidential election to Francois Hollande, has denied all allegations.