Nicolas Sarkozy & Carla Bruni: Home Raided by French Police
Why Did the Police Raid Nicolas Sarkozy's and Carla Bruni's House?
Paris police carried out a series of raids at the mansion belonging to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, model and singer Carla Bruni.
The raid also targeted Sarkozy's law firm. The raid is part an investigation into campaign finance corruption.
Nicolas Sarkozy & Lillian Bettencourt: The Bettencourt Affair
Nicolas Sarkozy's right-wing UMP party allegedly received nearly a million Euros in illegal cash donations from Liliane Bettencourt, L'Oreal heiress and France's richest woman.
Liliane Bettencourt has a net worth of around US$24 billion, taking into account the $22 million she lost to Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme.
As President, Nicolas Sarkozy had immunity from prosecution, but he's no longer President. Francois Hollande was sworn in on May 15, 2012; Sarkozy's immunity expired a month later. Until that point he had a safe spot from which to deny his involvement in the Bettencourt Affair.
Sarkozy and Bruni live in Villa Montmorency, an exclusive gated community in Paris' 16th Arrondissement (see map below). Their neighbors include several powerful businessmen and ex-politicians, as well as Celine Dion, who owns a home in Montmorency.
The investigation is part of the wider Bettencourt saga, which has gripped France for years with plot twists including a disgruntled butler who hid a tape recorder in the drawing room and, crucially, whether security services at the head of the French state may have spied on journalists to hush it all up.