17:11 04 July 2012
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy's home and offices have been raided by police in an investigation over alleged acceptance of cash sums.
Sarkozy recently became the first incumbent French president in more than 30 years to lose power after one term, and his post-office life isn't shaping up much better either.
The politician and his singer/actress wife Carla Bruni's home and office sites were raided in conjunction with allegations that he accepted illegal campaign donations.
The money in question dates back to his (successful) run for the Elysee Palace in 2007.
Sites breached by the financial police and Jean-Michel Gentile, the Bordeaux magistrate investigating the case, included a gated mansion the former president shared with his wife in Paris’s 16th arrondisement, Sarkozy's personal office in Miromesnil in the 8th arrondisement and a law firm of which Sarkozy is a partner on the board.
As the raids struck, the star couple were on holiday in Quebec.
Sarkozy's lawyer Thierry Herzog was briefly quoted over the raids, stating that they "will, as expected, prove futile".
The case is trying to establish a link between Sarkozy's party and illegal donations from the ageing heiress to the L'Oreal cosmetics business, Liliane Bettencourt. Bettencourt holds a $23bn fortune, easily making her one of the wealthiest women in the world.
It has been alleged that Sarkozy's campaign in 2007 received E800,000 in cash in envelopes, to which Sarkozy has always denied. Bettencourt's former accountant stated otherwise.
While Sarkozy was immune from prosecution during his presidential run, he could now face criminal charges.
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