French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said a former top aide to Libya's Muammar Gaddafi is living in France with government permission.
The ex-aide, Basher Saleh, is a target of US sanctions.
Mr Sarkozy told RMC radio: "Saleh is in France."
He said the French government decided to take Saleh in after consulting with Libyan authorities.
Mr Sarkozy insisted that the government is "working hand in hand with the Libyan authorities" and will turn Saleh over to Interpol if asked.
He said 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.