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Judge dismiss corruption charges against former president Sarkozy

PARIS, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- A two-judge panel Monday dismissed corruption charges against former French President Nicolas Sarkozy in the so-called Bettencourt affair.

Ten other people indicted with the president in March, including former Labor Minister Eric Woerth, still face charges, the French-language newspaper Le Monde reported.

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The judges said they were unable to prove Sarkozy's presidential campaign had benefited from illegal contributions to members of the French government by Liliane Bettencourt in 2010.

The charges were made after tapes made Bettencourt's butler become public. The recordings appear to indicate the heiress, then 77, conspired with her financial adviser to avoid paying taxes on money in secret Swiss bank accounts. Allegations later surfaced that conservative French politicians received cash-filled envelopes during visits to the Bettencourt estate.

Bettencourt is reputed to have a net worth of $33.4 billion.

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