French minister denies wrongdoing in police L`Oreal grilling

Last Updated: Friday, July 30, 2010 - 09:41

Paris: France`s embattled labour minister on Thursday denied all wrongdoing during a marathon grilling by police on financial scandals surrounding the L`Oreal cosmetics heiress, his lawyer said.

"With particular vigour and energy, he denied receiving any political financing that was not in conformity with the law," Jean-Yves Leborgne told reporters after Eric Woerth was questioned for eight hours at his ministry.

Woerth, who has repeatedly protected his innocence in an affair that has dogged President Nicolas Sarkozy`s government for weeks, also denied lobbying to get his wife hired by a firm managing the L`Oreal heiress`s money.

The minister had earlier said he wanted to talk to the police to clear the air, and yesterday detectives turned up at the Labour Ministry to question him as a witness. Police made no comment after the interview.
The most politically dangerous allegation in the complicated controversy is that 87-year-old L`Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, France`s richest woman, illegally bankrolled Sarkozy`s 2007 election campaign.

PTI




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