top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
Explore
arrow down

Sarkozy appears in court over scandal

Former president questioned over illegal 2007 election campaign contribution of L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt

FORMER president Nicolas Sarkozy will appear before a Bordeaux court today to answer questions surrounding the l'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt and allegations of illegal funding for his 2007 presidential campaign.

Investigating judges want to know how much the president knew of payments of cash in envelopes that came from the Bettencourt household to Sarkozy's 2007 campaign treasurer Eric Woerth.

Bettencourt's former accountant Claire Thibout has alleged that an envelope containing €150,000 was handed to Woerth, who resigned as finance minister over the affair.

The judges also want to know why Sarkozy met eight times with the previous judge heading up this inquiry, Philippe Courroye, from 2008-2010.

They will decide whether Sarkozy should be classified as someone involved in the case or simply as an assistant witness.

Officially the case is investigating the possible exploitation of Liliane Bettencourt, France's richest woman, who, at 87, has been accused several times of being incapable of running her affairs.

It dates from 2007 when Bettencourt's daughter accused photographer Michel Barnier of exploiting her after her mother gave him around €1bn in gifts.

The case, which has since become a legal fight over whether Bettencourt should be made a ward of the state, exploded into French politics when a tape was leaked of Bettencourt's accountant discussing secret Swiss bank accounts and illegal payments to France's then finance minister Eric Woerth.
It is the second time that a former president has appeared in court, the first being Jacques Chirac's trial for funding fictitious employees while mayor of Paris for which he received a two-year suspended prison sentence.

Sarkozy was said by members of his entourage to be confident ahead of his appearance.

Photo: European People's Party

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now