French minister demands inquiry into scandal allegations

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French Labour Minister Eric Woerth is to file an official complaint for "malicious falsehood" over allegations he received illegal donations for President Nicolas Sarkozy's campaign, his office said Wednesday.

"Eric Woerth has decided to bring a complaint for malicious falsehood," the Labour Ministry said in a statement. The action follows claims he accepted 150,000 euros (180,000 dollars) in cash for Sarkozy's 2007 campaign, for which he was treasurer.

The allegations were made by a former accountant of Bettencourt in testimony to police investigators probing L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt's affairs, and were reported by the investigative news website Mediapart.

The complaint would be made to an investigating judge who would decide whether a police investigation should be launched.

© 2010 AFP

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