Published On: Wed, Feb 11th, 2015

Former French President Sarkozy’s Minister Says He Didn’t Touch Liliane Bettencourt’s Money

On Tuesday, the trial focused on the roughly $57, 000 Woerth supposedly received from de Maistre.

Liliane Bettencourt

France’s former budget minister Eric Woerth is denying receiving cash from L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, 92, to finance Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 campaign, the Guardian reported.

Woerth was testifying on Tuesday in his own corruption trial.

Woerth is one of 10 defendants associated with Bettencourt in the city of Bordeaux, France, standing trial in the charges of corruption which have touched the reputation of Former President Sarkozy.

“I know what I did, I know what I didn’t do, ” Woerth told the court. “I did not receive cash from [Bettencourt’s money manager Patrice] de Maistre to finance this campaign or anything else.”

Sarkozy’s presidency has been marred by these accusations. After his loss, in 2012, Sarkozy was investigated for illegal campaign financing, and for taking advantage of the L’Oréal heiress.

In October 2013, charges against Sarkozy were dropped for lack of evidence.

On Tuesday, the trial focused on the roughly $57, 000 Woerth supposedly received from de Maistre.

Bettencourt’s former accountant, Claire Thibout, is claiming de Maistre asked her in 2007 to take out $170, 000 and give it to Woerth.

“It’s for Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign, ” she said he had told her.

De Maistre denies everything

Woerth and de Maistre say they did meet in January 2007, but only to discuss potential donors for the president’s campaign.

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