PARIS, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- A French courthouse decided to dismiss the formal investigation that targeted former President Nicolas Sarkozy over suspected illegal campaign donations, local media reported on Monday.
According to the daily Le Monde, the judges in charge of the inquiry Jean-Michel Gentil and Valerie Christmas decided, following a lack of evidence, not to send Sarkozy to the criminal court for "abuse of weakness" in a 2007 party funding case involving L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.
However, the judges from the Bordeaux southwestern courthouse decided to pursue their investigation against 10 others in the case, including Eric Woerth, Sarkozy's treasurer of 2007 campaign and former Budget Minister.
Losing immunity from prosecution after failing to snatch a second term in May 2012, Sarkozy, whose home and offices were searched by French police, denied that he had received 150,000 euros (204,000 U.S. dollars) to his campaign from 90-year-old Bettencourt, while French law limits donations to parties to 7,500 euros per person per year with only 150 euros given in cash. (1 euro = 1.36 U.S. dollars)