Sarkozy to appear Thursday in French graft probe: report

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy will appear before investigating magistrates on Thursday in a probe into illegal campaign financing, newspaper Le Figaro reported.

The newspaper reported in its online edition on Monday that Sarkozy will appear before a judge in Bordeaux investigating alleged illegal financing of his 2007 campaign by L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.

Sources close to the matter had earlier told AFP that Sarkozy was expected to appear at the hearing this week but did not confirm the date.

Investigators are probing whether withdrawals of hundreds of thousands of euros from Swiss bank accounts were made to provide funds to finance Sarkozy's election campaign.

Sarkozy, who lost May's presidential election to Socialist Francois Hollande, has denied a series of allegations of illegal campaign financing.

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