Cựu Tổng thống Pháp, ông Nicolas Sarkozy, vừa bị thẩm vấn vì có ý kiến nói rằng ông đã nhận tiền quyên góp bất hợp pháp từ một phụ nữ giàu có nhất nước Pháp trong thời gian vận động tranh cử hồi năm 2007. Đây là lần đầu tiên ông Sarkozy bị thẩm vấn kể từ khi ông mất quyền miễn tố. Ông vẫn nói không làm gì sai trái.
Phóng viên BBC Christian Fraser tường thuật.
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 advantage of 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.
suburban (area on the edge of a large town where people live): vùng ngoại ô
forged a close friendship (form or make a close friendship): tạo mối quan hệ thân thiết
took advantage of (used for personal benefit, especially something or someone in a weaker position): lợi dụng, tận dụng
heiress (a woman who will receive a money, property or a title when the person who owns it dies): người thừa kế (nữ)
bankroll (support financially; provide the money for): cung cấp tiền bạc, hỗ trợ tài chính
handed over (given): được đưa cho, chuyển cho
stuffed (completely filled): đầy, nhét chặt
raided (entered (a property) by force): đột xuất lục soát, khám xét (một căn nhà dùng vũ lực)
fractured (broken): bị rạn nứt, trong trường hợp này là 'bị chia rẽ'
harbours those ambitions (thinks about or holds those ambitions, usually for a long time): nuôi dưỡng những tham vọng đó