Wall Street Journal - Europe: French Police Raid Sarkozy's Home, OfficesSubmitted by Bob-45 on Wed, 07/04/2012 - 08:02
Updated July 3, 2012, 4:21 p.m. ET
By DAVID GAUTHIER-VILLARS
PARIS—French police raided the home and offices of former president Nicolas Sarkozy early Tuesday as part of a campaign-financing probe involving Liliane Bettencourt, heiress to the L'Oréal cosmetics empire, people familiar with the matter said.
About a dozen police searched offices Mr. Sarkozy has used since leaving the Elysée palace in mid-May, and the Paris apartment of his wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, these people said.
A lawyer for Mr. Sarkozy confirmed the police actions. Thierry Herzog said the former president wasn't present when police arrived because he is on a trip to Canada for family reasons. These raids were "useless procedures," Mr. Herzog said.
Tuesday's development was both spectacular and expected—spectacular, because it was the first time in modern France that police searched the home or offices of a former president, and expected, because magistrates have long signaled that they would want to hear from 57-year-old Mr. Sarkozy, who last month lost the immunity that protected him from prosecution while in office.