Prosecutor seeks to drop charges against Sarkozy

June 29, 2013 at 4:55 PM
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BORDEAUX, France, June 29 (UPI) -- A prosecutor sought to drop charges former French President Nicolas Sarkozy took illegal campaign contributions from an ailing heiress during the 2007 election.

The accountant for Liliane Bettencourt -- the 90-year-old heiress to the L'Oreal beauty product empire who suffers from dementia -- said on several occasions she was instructed to give envelopes of cash to Bettencourt's trusted aide with the understanding the money would be passed to Sarkozy's campaign treasurer to help fund the race.

Bettencourt's accountant said as much as 4 million euros ($5.2 million) made its way into Sarkozy's campaign treasury.

Sarkozy has vehemently denied the charges and said he only met Bettencourt once, to visit her late husband.

Citing "an absence of charges" Bordeaux prosecutor Claude Laplaud said he's recommended breach-of-trust charges against Sarkozy, his treasurer Eric Woerth who would later become a cabinet minister, and several others be dropped, said.

"Despite the violence of the calumnies, the truth always ends up triumphing," and "the Bordeaux prosecutor just demonstrated that," Sarkozy's attorney, Thierry Herzog told CNN.

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