Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Donald Trump named Time magazine's Person of the Year

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Colombia's President Santos: Nobel Peace Prize 'a gift from God'

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Aleppo: The story of 7-year-old Bana Alabed

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Trump, Italy, slow growth: The ECB's challenges

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: 'Graduation', 'Go Home' & Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas turns 100

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

After latest Snowden leaks, is it time to use carrier pigeons?

Read more

THE DEBATE

Taiwan on the line: Trump phone call alarms China (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Taiwan on the line: Trump phone call alarms China (part 2)

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

France's ex-foreign minister talks Syria, Iran and climate change

Read more

France

Police search Nicolas Sarkozy's home and office

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-07-03

Investigators searched the office and home of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy (pictured) as part of a probe into suspected illegal financing of his 2007 campaign by L'Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, an official said Tuesday.

AP - French investigators searched former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s home and office on Tuesday as part of a probe into suspected illegal financing of his 2007 presidential campaign by the L’Oreal cosmetics heiress, an official said.

Potential legal troubles have threatened Sarkozy since he lost the presidency to Socialist Francois Hollande in May elections. Sarkozy, who lost his immunity from prosecution June 15, denies wrongdoing.

Judge Jean-Michel Gentil and other investigators from the Paris financial crimes unit conducted Tuesday’s search of Sarkozy’s home and offices, the official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to be publicly named discussing an ongoing investigation.

Messages left with Sarkozy’s staff were not immediately returned.

The probe centers on the finances of France’s richest woman, L’Oreal cosmetics heiress Liliane Bettencourt.

A long-running family feud over her fortune ballooned in 2010 into a multi-layered investigation and political affair. Allegations emerged that Bettencourt provided illegal campaign cash to Sarkozy’s party during the 2007 campaign. Sarkozy vigorously denies the claims.

The allegations struck a chord with Sarkozy’s critics, who were frustrated with Sarkozy’s handling of the recession-hit economy and saw him as too cozy with the rich.

An accountant for Bettencourt said in 2010 that she gave €50,000 in cash in 2007 to Sarkozy’s party treasurer for the presidential campaign - well beyond the €4,600 legal limit on individual donations. A book released last year suggested that Sarkozy himself received undeclared campaign money. Sarkozy denies the claims.

The case also stirred up debate over media freedom. Le Monde filed a lawsuit accusing Sarkozy’s office of using counterintelligence services to identify a source leaking information about the investigation. Sarkozy’s office said it had never given such instructions to an intelligence agency.

Date created : 2012-07-03

  • FRANCE

    Sarkozy on the radar of French prosecutors

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Sarkozy’s office denies illegal donation claims

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    L'Oreal heiress scandal is back in the headlines

    Read more

COMMENT(S)