French former president Nicolas Sarkozy has been charged with membership of a criminal conspiracy as part of the case in which it is alleged that Sarkozy used Libyan cash to finance his 2007 election campaign.
The latest charge of "membership in a criminal conspiracy" was brought on Monday, and adds to suspected crimes under investigation since 2018 of "passive corruption", "benefitting from embezzled public funds" and "illegal campaign financing".
Prosecutors suspect that Sarkozy and his associates received millions of euros from the regime of former Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi to help finance his election bid.
Nicolas Sarkozy has denied any wrongdoing and has reacted to this latest legal move with "amazement".
"I have learned about this latest charge with stupefaction," he said on Facebook. "This is another attack on my innocence, a decision which is not based on the slightest proof of illegal financing."
The former president has consistently described the case behind these four criminal charges as a "plot".
The anti-corruption association Sherpa, which is pursuing Sarkozy in this case, has described the latest development as "unprecedented" but "coherent" in the light of the on-going investigation.
One of Sarkozy's former associates, Thierry Gaubert, has already been charged with criminal association for his alleged part in the supposed plot to use Libyan money to finance the 2007 French presidential campaign.