Friday, June 28, 2013

Bettencourt affair and psychiatric examination

Recently, Bettencourt affair seems to be focused again in France.

Ms. Liliane Bettencourt is one of the richest persons in the world. She is the daughter of Louise Madeleine Berthe, the founder of L’Oreal, one of the largest companies of cosmetics.

Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy, former president of France is suspected to be given illegal money from Ms. Bettencourt. It is deemed to be occurred in 2007, when Mr. Sarkozy was fighting for the seat of the president. The amount of contribution was up to 150,000 euro.

After that, some persons around Ms. Bettencourt were inspected for the suspicion of tax evasion.

It is important that Ms. Bettencourt was diagnosed as dementia in 2006. If she suffered from severe dementia, she was not able to decide properly about contribution to Mr. Sarkozy. It is a different, and more critical problem than the illegal process of contribution.

On 21st March, 2013, the investigation begun about the suspicion that Mr. Sarkozy had abused Ms. Bettencourt. Of course he was opposed to the allegation immediately.

Ms. Bettencourt was also evaluated by the psychiatrists to assess her capacity to deal with her estate. Mr. Sarkozy found fault with the suitability of the examiners. However, Supreme Court in France authorized the 5 doctors who examined Ms. Bettencourt.

The final decision whether Mr. Sarkozy is guilty will be clarified soon.

I think it is not an easy task to decide whether Ms. Bettencourt was able to assess the situation around her and make decisions about her estate. This is based on a psychiatric examination. But to investigate one’s mental state in past appropriately is quite difficult. Moreover, it is not assumed that her family members told the examiner about her behaviors correctly. I guess the examiners had a tough time.

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