French judges have dropped an investigation into former president Nicolas Sarkozy over allegations that he illegally took donations from France’s richest woman on the way to his 2007 election victory.
The prosecutor’s office in the Bordeaux said investigating magistrates threw out the case for a lack of evidence.
The conservative Mr Sarkozy lost the presidency to socialist Francois Hollande last year.
Ten others are expected to go to trial next year on charges including alleged fraud and abuse of someone in an impaired state in the case which involves Liliane Bettencourt, the 90-year-old L’Oreal cosmetics heiress.
Speculation is rife Mr Sarkozy might run for president again in 2017.