Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni's house raided by police
Magistrates are investigating claims that house staff of Liliane Bettencourt, heiress to the L'Oréal cosmetics empire and France'srichest woman, handed over brown envelopes stuffed with cash to Mr Sarkozy and his aides to finance his successful 2007 presidential campaign.
Officers from Paris's financial brigade raided a town mansion belonging to Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy where the former first couple live, as well the law firm where Mr Sarkozy used to be an associate, and the offices he is entitled to as former head of state.
Mr Sarkozy lost his presidential immunity on June 16, a month after leaving office, and there had been speculation that Bordeaux judge Jean-Michel Gentil would approach him as part of the illegal cash donation inquiry.
The judge is also investigating whether the aged billionaire's entourage is guilty of "abuse of weakness" – taking advantage of her waning mental capacities for financial gain.
Eleven people have already been charged in the case.
By Henry Samuel, Paris
7:40PM BST 03 Jul 2012
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