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1 of 2. Journalists stand in front of the entrance of a building housing the new offices of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris July 3, 2012.
Credit: Reuters/Mal Langsdon
Tue Jul 3, 2012 12:13pm EDT
PARIS (Reuters) - Police raided the home and offices of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday as part of a judicial inquiry into financial relations between his political camp and the richest woman in France, L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.
Sarkozy's lawyer, Thierry Herzog, said the raids a day after his client had left for Canada on holiday 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.
Sarkozy, elected in May 2007 and unseated nearly two months ago, enjoyed immunity from judicial pursuit while in office, but that cover expired in mid-June.
The Bettencourt probe centers on financial relations between Sarkozy's centre-right UMP party and the billionaire heiress of the L'Oreal cosmetics empire. In one strand, investigators are trying to establish whether Sarkozy's 2007 election campaign in particular was funded illicitly.
(Reporting By Brian Love and Chine Labbe, editing by Diana Abdallah)
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