Gadhafi ally in exile in France, Sarkozy says

By the Associated Press | May 1, 2012 | 6:36 AM EDT

PARIS (AP) — French President Nicolas Sarkozy says that a former top aide to Libya's Moammar Gadhafi apparently wanted by Interpol is living in France with government permission.

The ex-aide, Basher Saleh, is a target of U.S. sanctions.

Sarkozy said on RMC radio Tuesday that "Saleh is in France." Sarkozy says France's government decided to take Saleh in after consulting Libyan authorities.

Sarkozy insists that the French government is "working hand in hand with the Libyan authorities" and will turn Saleh over to Interpol if asked.

Sarkozy says the question of the suspect's identity needs to be settled first. Interpol's website has a so-called red notice for a man named Bashir al-Shrkawi, based on a Libyan warrant for "fraud." The photo in the listing appears to be that of Saleh.