2 December, 2020

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Former French President Sarkozy’s Home Raided By Police As Part Of An Investigation Into Illegal Campaign Financing

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French police have raided the home and offices of the former French president Nicolas Sarkozy as part of an investigation into illegal campaign financing and alleged brown envelopes of cash from France’s wealthiest woman, the L’Oreal hairspray heiress Liliane Bettencourt.

Police have searched the Paris mansion rented by Bruni as well as the office of the legal firm where Sarkozy is a partner. Photograph: Contre Jour/Sipa/Rex Features

Police searched the mansion rented by Carla Bruni in a chic gated community in the west of Paris, where she and Sarkozy live with Bruni’s 11-year-old son and the couple’s new baby daughter. Officers also searched the office of the legal firm where Sarkozy is a partner and the new office he moved into after losing the presidential election to Socialist Francois Hollande in May.

The Sarkozys were not present as they had left for a Quebec chalet holiday on Monday, Sarkozy’s lawyer said.

As president, Sarkozy had judicial immunity which protected him from legal investigations, but this expired on 16 June.

A judge in Bordeaux is currently investigating whether Sarkozy’s right-wing UMP party benefited from envelopes of cash from the ageing and mentally fragile Bettencourt, during Sarkozy’s successful election campaign in 2007. The investigating magistrate is trying to establish whether Sarkozy’s campaign might have received euro 800,000 in illegal funding, and whether transfers from Swiss accounts may have been handed over to Sarkozy’s campaign treasurer or even to Sarkozy himself.

In February, Eric Woerth, the former French budget minister and treasurer of Sarkozy’s ruling UMP party, was placed under judicial investigation over cash he was alleged to have received from the billionaire Bettencourt to fund the 2007 campaign. He denies any wrongdoing.

The investigation is part of the wider Bettencourt saga, which has gripped France for years with plot-twists including a disgruntled butler who hid a tape-recorder in the drawing room, and, crucially, security services at the head of the French state which might have spied on journalists to hush it all up.

Sarkozy’s lawyer, Thierry Herzog, said the raids would show nothing and that he had already supplied information to investigators that debunked suspicions of secret meetings with Bettencourt. “These raids … will as expected prove futile,” Herzog said in a statement.

Herzog said magistrates looking into whether Sarkozy had received campaign funds from Bettencourt had been supplied with diary details of all Sarkozy appointments in 2007. Those details, he said, “prove that the purported ‘secret meetings’ with Madame Liliane Bettencourt were impossible”.

Sarkozy, 57, who has taken a low profile since his defeat, could come under the spotlight in a number of legal cases now that he is no longer head of state.

He could also become a focus of the separate investigation into whether or not there was a shady “cabinet noir” at the highest reaches of the French government which used the secret services to spy on journalists at Le Monde to uncover their sources for stories about the Bettencourt affair. A security chief and Sarkozy ally has been placed under investigation in the alleged political spying scandal. Sarkozy has denied any links to the case.

The Guardian

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Latest comments

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    Compared to our backboneless Police Force, the French Police are doing their country proud. Wish we had such a Police Force!

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      That is in their blood. Police in France, Germany and UK are well trained to be able to react byself. Ours wait for commands from policians.Besides it is their mentality to react in that way safeguarding the human rights of everyone. Ours are a folk that just let thingS go apathetic, indifferent. Even if the head of the regime would remain silent for grave matters that have big impact, the majority of the natio seems to be not even noticing. Please check the news on varied sources.

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    The Police is the long arm of the Law in a country. The IGP normally should act Independently to serve the Nation. If he should ever find any Politician, even the Head of State trying to influence him he should openly refuse to comply and allow the Head of State to remove him. Such Individual who defies and stand up to Justice will be revered by the Nation. Further an ammendment should be brought to the Consttution that the Head of State has no power to remove the Heads of Forces and Police, The Attorney General, The Chief Justice, The Auditor General once after appointment. I believe the positions of AG, Sec General of Parliament and the Auditor General can not be removed without the approval of the Parliament at the moment. But if as suggested they cannot be removed unless they are proved in a court of their unsuitability that no Politician can, then we will automatically have all our social ills rectified. Unfortunately the type of IGPs we have had for sometime are absolute PONNAYAS who will do anything to appease corrupt Political heads in return for Diplomatic appointments after retirement.

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    Rajapaksa and Family and Company will have to flee Sri Lanka the day they loose power. Weather that happens in an election or an uprising by the people of this country is something we will know only in the future.

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    PresiDunce –
    that day is fast approaching, with all the war crimes and human rights violations the Mafia family will have no place to run and hide unless in China and Iran, and that day is coming soon and that is the latest hit right now by the masses, as they are all sick and tired with the scrounging and plundering of this countrys wealth , unbearable taxes, whilst the mafia family and their goons are plundering the poor, sick and weak to live on the blood sweat amnd tears of this marginalised and the poor citizens.

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