Nicolas Sarkozy has denied "grotesque" claims he received a £42m donation from Colonel Muammar Gaddafi - as an opinion poll offered France's president a welcome boost.
A document published by left-wing investigative website Mediapart alleges the funds were paid towards Mr Sarkozy's 2007 presidential campaign by Libya's deposed leader.
But Mr Sarkozy, who referred to France's active role in the Nato campaign that helped overthrow Col Gaddafi's regime, told French TV channel TF1: "If he had financed it, I wasn't very grateful.
"It's grotesque and I am sorry that I am being interrogated about declarations of Gaddafi or his son on an important channel like TF1.
"When one quotes Mr Gaddafi, who is dead, his son, who has blood on his hands, that is a regime of dictators, assassins, whose credibility is zero... frankly, I think we have sunk low enough in the political debate."
The claims are made in a report based on testimony by a former doctor of a French arms dealer who is said to have arranged the campaign and follow similar allegations made by Col Gaddafi's son, Saif al Islam. Read More