London: Lawyer for former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has rejected claims of exploiting the mental frailty of the country`s richest woman to raise election funds as ‘flawed’.
The remarks came after a Bordeaux magistrate launched a formal inquiry into whether Sarkozy took advantage of Liliane Bettencourt, the 90-year-old L`Oreal heiress, after she was declared in a state of dementia, to help raise money for his 2007 election campaign.
According to the New York Post, his lawyer Thierry Herzog said he would seek to annul the formal investigation, the final step before a suspect is accused of a crime and drawn into a case which could take years to complete.
Herzog told RTL radio that Sarkozy will carry on fighting this but at the same time he believes the treatment that has been meted out to him has been disgraceful.
Sarkozy’s allies also leapt to his defense, with one suggesting the timing of the investigation was politically motivated to distract from a scandal surrounding one of Hollande`s ministers, the paper said.