8 Jul 2010

Sarkozy campaign funding probe opened

4:06 pm on 8 July 2010

Prosecutors in France have launched an investigation into claims of illegal campaign funding of President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The move follows allegations by a former accountant for France's richest woman, L'Oreal cosmetics heiress Liliane Bettencourt, the BBC reports.

The accountant, Claire Thibou, reportedly told police she was involved in channelling 150,000 euros to Mr Sarkozy's presidential campaign in 2007. The limit for political donations in France is 7,500 euros.

Mr Sarkozy has dismissed the claims as a "smear".