Former French minister acquitted in Sarkozy-linked corruption case

Ex-budget minister Eric Woerth found not guilty of exploiting L'Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt but two of her associates were jailed.

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Former French budget minister Eric Woerth, a key ally of ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy, has been found not guilty of exploiting France's richest woman in a case concerning the funding of Sarkozy's 2007 election campaign. Two associates of L'Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt were sentenced to prison terms by the court in Bordeaux, reports RFI.

For the second time a court has declared Woerth innocent of the charge of abuse of a victim in a state of weakness in the L'Oréal affair, which has seen accusations that politicians left Bettencourt's home with suitcases stuffed with money.

Bettencourt was an ailing 84-year-old at the time.

Woerth, who was treasurer of Sarkozy's campaign, was accused of receiving cash from Patrice de Maistre, who ran Bettencourt's financial affairs.

Earlier the court declared Woerth innocent of influence peddling.

Read more of this report from RFI.

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