vendredi 27 septembre 2013
Is French Ex-President Sarkozy a dupe ?
A French court has ruled that an investigation can proceed into whether Nicolas Sarkozy exploited the mental fragilty of heiress Liliane Bettencourt into donating money for his 2007 election campaign. Sarkozy’s political career will be over if he is found guity
Madame Bettencourt, 90 year old French heiress, socialite, businesswoman and philanthropist is one of the principal shareholders of L'Oréal. In March 2013, Forbes magazine recently listed her as the wealthiest woman in the world with an estimated net worth of US $30 billion. She is also listed as 9th world’s wealthiest persons.
Mrs Bettencourt's doctors say her mental capacity began to deteriorate from the autumn of 2006. She was declared to have been suffering from dementia meaning she would have been particularly vulnerable to people asking her for money.
Sarkozy and eleven other people are being investigated for “abuse of weakness".
Claire Thibout, Bettencourt’s former accountant, told police in 2010 that she had handed cash-filled envelopes to Bettencourt's financial manager, Patrice de Maistre, who subsequently passed them on to Sarkozy's campaign treasurer, Eric Woerth.
Sarkozy is also said to have collected money in person. However, he insists that it was only once, despite many former Bettencourt staff members saying he was always popping round.
In 2011, Sarkozy's predecessor, Jacque Chirac, was found guilty on corruption charges related to his time as mayor of Paris, and received a two-year suspended prison sentence.