[BBC News]

A criminal investigation into former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, for allegedly soliciting secret campaign financing from France’s richest woman, has been dropped, judicial sources say.

Mr Sarkozy has been left off a list of those to appear for trial over the so-called Bettencourt affair, they say.

He had denied visiting L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt – alleged to be mentally frail – to solicit cash.

The decision could leave Mr Sarkozy, 58, clear to contest the 2017 election.

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