French PM slams 'manhunt' in heiress cash scandal

6th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon denounced a "manhunt" on Tuesday after new allegations that President Nicolas Sarzkozy's campaign received illegal donations in 2007.

"This is slander, this is a systematic destabilisation campaign," Fillon told a news conference at the European parliament in Strasbourg.

"We will not be intimidated by these methods and I want to say that those who are involved in this manhunt, or slanderous accusations, should ask themselves if they still have a conscience," he said.

Earlier, Sarkozy reacted angrily to reports that police were probing claims his election campaign received illegal donations from L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, saying he was the victim of a political smear campaign.

© 2010 AFP

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