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Sarkozy Campaign Funding Probed by Bettencourt Judge, Monde Says

May 23 (Bloomberg) -- The judge investigating claims Liliane Bettencourt was manipulated by those close to her is looking into whether former French President Nicolas Sarkozy received illegal donations to his 2007 campaign, Le Monde said.

Judge Jean-Michel Gentil believes Bettencourt and her husband contributed to Sarkozy and is trying to trace their cash to see if it went illegally to the campaign, the newspaper said today, citing documents from the inquiry in Bordeaux, France.

Gentil is looking into whether a Bettencourt financial adviser gave cash to Sarkozy’s party treasurer, the newspaper said. Entries in their agendas don’t agree on details of meetings when Gentil suspects the money was exchanged, the newspaper said.

Sarkozy has denied in interviews that he received illegal campaign contributions. His lawyer didn’t immediately return calls for comment by Bloomberg News on the article.

To contact the reporter on this story: Heather Smith in Paris at hsmith26@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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