Police questioning of French minister ends after eight hours

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French police questioned a cabinet minister for eight hours Thursday as they probed claims France's richest woman illegally bankrolled President Nicolas Sarkozy's election campaign, officials said.

Labour Minister Eric Woerth was interviewed by detectives at his ministry as part of inquiries into various financial scandals surrounding L'Oreal cosmetics heiress Liliane Bettencourt's multi-billion euro fortune.

The minister had previously said he wanted to speak to police to clear the air over allegations that have rocked Sarkozy's government and undermined his attempts to push through unpopular pension reforms.

© 2010 AFP

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