Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/GettyImages
Well, that didn’t take long. Less than a month after former French president Nicolas Sarkozy lost his immunity from prosecution, police raided his home and office as part of an investigation into allegations that he received illegal campaign contributions from L’Oreal cosmetic heiress Liliane Bettencourt, reports the Guardian. It marked Sarkozy’s first brush with the law since he lost a May 6 election, followed by his legal immunity in mid-June.
Officials are investigating whether staff members for Bettencourt’s richest woman gave envelopes filled with cash to Sarkozy. The former president has denied any wrongdoing and his lawyer said the raids, which were carried out when Sarkozy and his wife had already left for a holiday in Canada, would “prove futile,” reports Reuters.
This is one of several investigations relating to Bettencourt, as judges investigate claims that the 89-year-old was manipulated by family and staff to give away money and valuables, notes Bloomberg.
Sarkozy is also facing other legal woes, points out the Associated Press. After he lost his immunity, relatives of victims of a 2003 bombing in Pakistan filed a lawsuit accusing the former president of violating a duty to secrecy in the investigation of the attack. Investigators are trying to determine whether the attack was in any way linked to French military sales to Pakistan.