Police have searched the home and office of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy in connection with allegations of illegal financing of his successful 2007 presidential campaign.
Magistrates are probing claims that staff for Liliane Bettencourt, heiress to the L'Oreal cosmetics empire and France's richest woman, provided illegal campaign funds to Sarkozy aides to finance the campaign, AFP reported on Tuesday.
It was Sarkozy's first legal tangle since he was unseated in a May 6 election after five years in office, during which he enjoyed presidential immunity from legal action. That cover expired in mid-June.
Days after his presidential immunity expired, relatives of French victims of a 2003 bombing in Karachi filed a lawsuit accusing Sarkozy and two former advisers of violating a duty to secrecy in an investigation of the attack.
In the so-called "Karachi Affair," investigators are trying to unravel dealings by middlemen and possible kickbacks linked to France's sale of Agosta class submarines to Pakistan in the 1990s.