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France

Sarkozy to face French magistrate in L'Oréal heiress probe

media Former French president, Nicolas Sarkozy Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been summoned to appear before investigating magistrates on Thursday, in connection with allegations of illegal campaign financing by Liliane Bettencourt, the French cosmetics heiress.

A judge in Bordeaux will question Sarkozy as part of a probe into accusations of illegal financing of Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign by L’Oréal heiress, Liliane Bettencourt.

It’s alleged withdrawals of hundreds of thousands of euros were made from Swiss bank accounts by Sarkozy's campaign staff or other UMP party members to fund the successful presidential race.

Dossier - The Bettencourt scandal

The allegations involve seven international transfers totalling around four million euros.

In July, police searched Sarkozy’s home and office for evidence as part of an inquiry into the claims.

Sarkozy lost his legal immunity from prosecution after losing the presidential elections to François Hollande earlier this year.

Last year a judge investigating the case claimed personal donations were made.

Sarkozy has denied a series of allegations and dismissed them as ‘slander’.
 

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