Former French president Chirac on trial for corruption

March 7th, 2011 - 9:53 pm ICT by BNO News  

PARIS (BNO NEWS) — A Paris court on Monday began trial against former French President Jacques Chirac for corruption while being mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995, Radio France Internationale (RFI) reported.

Chirac is accused of using public money to pay people working for him and the former president faces ten years of prison if found guilty in the month-long trial. Chirac rejected any corruption accusations.

The case was stalled for years as Chirac enjoyed immunity while serving as president from 1995 to 2007. He is scheduled to appear for the first time on Tuesday. His attorneys are seeking getting a procedural issue referred to France’s constitutional court.

The Paris trial is the result of the merger of two separate cases. One started by magistrates in the Paris suburb of Nanterre in 1995 and the other in the French capital in 1998.

In addition, nine other people are on trial alongside the former French leader. The corruption allegations have already convicted of current Foreign Minister Alain Juppe. Chirac has been involved in other corruption cases but never convicted.

If the former French leader is found guilty, he could be sentenced to up to ten years of imprisonment and a fine of 150,000 Euros ($209,965) due to the embezzlement and breach of trust charges.

In 2010, Chirac was involved in a case over civil charges but a Paris city hall dropped the accusations against the former mayor in return of a payment of approximately 2.2 million Euros ($3 million) from him and the right-wing UMP party.

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