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Sarkozy questioned over donations

Terbaru  26 November 2012 - 22:08 WIB
Nicolas Sarkozy

Nicolas Sarkozy was questioned by a judge for 12 hours.

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been questioned over claims his 2007 election campaign received illegal donations from France's richest woman.

It is the first time that Sarkozy has been questioned since losing presidential immunity. He denies any wrongdoing.

Reporter

Christian Fraser

Report

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He was the mayor of the wealthiest suburb in Paris. It gave him access to the country's richest woman. And, over the years, Mr Sarkozy had forged a close friendship with Liliane Bettencourt. He was, said staff, a regular visitor to the family home in Neuilly.

But the allegation is that in the final few months of the 2007 election, Mr Sarkozy took advantageof the ageing L'Oreal heiress, persuading her to part with huge amounts of money to help bankroll his bid for the presidency. An accountant who worked for Ms Bettencourt claims tens of thousands of euros were handed over to his campaign manager Eric Woerth; and, on a separate occasion, Mr Sarkozy came in person, she said, to "receive his envelope" stuffed with cash.

The former President has repeatedly denied the allegations, but, on the orders of the judge, his office and home were raided in July. Today, one poll suggested the majority of French people would prefer Mr Sarkozy to return and lead his fractured party. Certainly, he harbours those ambitions, but his chances of a return could yet be poisoned by the inquiry he's facing.

Vocabulary

Klik Listen to the words

suburb: pinggiran kota besar

forged a close friendship: berteman dekat

took advantage of: memanfaatkan untuk kepentingan pribadi

heiress: ahli waris

bankroll: mendukung secara finansial

handed over: diberikan

stuffed: penuh dengan

raided: digerebek

fractured: terpecah

harbours those ambitions: masih berambisi

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