French prosecutors look at Sarkozy cash claim

Prosecutors today opened an official investigation into claims that France’s richest woman secretly funded President Nicolas Sarkozy’s election campaign.

Mr Sarkozy has denied that his 2007 campaign received €150,000 in secret cash from L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt via the treasurer of his conservative party UMP, Eric Woerth.

The prosecutor’s office in the Paris suburb of Nanterre is conducting a preliminary probe into the allegations.

A scandal over Ms Bettencourt’s fortune has already destabilised Mr Sarkozy’s government.

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