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France

Bruni stands by Sarkozy in face of party funding scandal

Text by Tony Todd

Latest update : 2013-03-28

Former model-turned-singer Carla Bruni has told French media that her husband, former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, is on fighting form after he was placed under investigation for receiving illegal election campaign donations.

Carla Bruni, the wife of France’s former president Nicolas Sarkozy, came out fighting to defend her husband Wednesday, stating that the allegations against him were “unthinkable”.

Sarkozy is under formal investigation for illegal party financing; specifically he is suspected of accepting envelopes stuffed with cash from 90-year-old L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt – the world’s richest woman – to fund his 2007 election campaign. Bettencourt was ruled mentally unfit to manage her estimated 17-billion-euro fortune by doctors in 2006.

In interviews with French newspapers to launch her latest album “Little French Songs”, the ex-supermodel-turned-singer said Sarkozy was feeling “serene and combative”.

"We will do everything we can so the truth comes out," Bruni told Le Parisien. "It's unthinkable to imagine that a man like him could take advantage of the weakness of a woman the same age as his mother."

"Painful"

And in an interview with Le Figaro, she said that while she “had no comment to make on current events”, she admitted: “My family and I are going through a very difficult and painful time. It’s very difficult not to speak about it, and it’s difficult to actually talk about it. Not being able to express myself is infuriating.”

On Monday, Sarkozy used his Facebook page to insist the charges against him were "unfair and unfounded".

The case could scupper any political comeback for Sarkozy, who remains a popular figure with centre-right voters and had previously hinted that he would consider running for the presidency again in 2017.

If convicted, the former head of state could face up to three years in jail, a fine of 375,000 euros and a five-year ban from public office.
 

Date created : 2013-03-27

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