Just a day after losing his job in a cabinet reshuffle, controversial French politician Eric Woerth has been placed under official investigation.
A prosecutor has ordered a probe into his handling of the sale of state land, including a racecourse and a golf course, reportedly to a friend at a knockdown price.
The inquiry, by a special court that deals with offences committed by ministers, will look into claims of a conflict of interest.
Woerth’s lawyer, Jean-Yves Leborgne, said: “This inquiry is quite welcome because it will put an end once and for all to all the hypotheses, suspicions and rumours about this sale of state land, the conditions of which do not merit any criticism.”
Woerth had already been fending off accusations of involvement in a scandal swirling around the L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.
Critics called for him to be sacked, saying he was not focused enough on the job of reforming the country’s pension system.