Home > News > World
Tuesday October 1, 2013 MYT 12:00:01 AM
Tuesday October 1, 2013 MYT 12:01:28 AM
PARIS (Reuters) - Former president Nicolas Sarkozy appealed to France's highest court on Monday to stop a criminal inquiry into accusations that he duped a billionaire heiress into donating campaign funds, a case that threatens his political future.
Sarkozy's lawyer asked the Court of Cassation to overturn an appeals court ruling this month upholding the investigation into allegations that he took advantage of the mental frailty of L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, France's richest woman, to obtain money for his 2007 presidential campaign.
Sarkozy denies the accusations. Most of the 11 other defendants in the case also lodged appeals.
If Sarkozy, 58, the conservative voters' favourite, were sent for trial over the long-running case, it could dash his chances of entering the 2017 presidential race against Socialist incumbent Francois Hollande, who defeated him last year.
Sarkozy was placed under formal investigation in March for "abuse of weakness" of Bettencourt, who was 84 at the time of the alleged offence, after she was declared to be in a state of dementia.
Under French law, a formal investigation means there is "serious or consistent evidence" pointing to likely implication of a suspect in a crime. It often but not always leads to trial.
(Writing by Paul Taylor; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
Pilot held by Islamic State puts Jordan's king in a tough spot
Blast targeting bus near Shi'ite shrine in Damascus kills six
Deadly clashes rage in east Ukraine after peace talks fail
Greece wants time for new deal, 'cold turkey' on debt
Dynamic and Stylish BMW X1
Healthy living in the heart of Ampang
Intel says corporations buying more high-end PCs
Guinea run ends as Ghana power into semi-finals
Be disciplined, recruits told
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)