French ex-president Chirac found guilty of corruption

December 15th, 2011 - 7:32 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Dec 15 (IANS) Former French president Jacques Chirac was Thursday found guilty of corruption in a trial over illegal financing of the political party he once led, a media report said.

The 79-year-old Chirac, however, did not take part in the trial after doctors determined that he suffers from severe memory lapses, Sky News reported.

The court said it found Chirac guilty in two cases involving fake jobs created at the RPR party he led during his 1977-1995 tenure as Paris mayor.

Chirac has denied wrongdoing. He was handed a two-year suspended prison sentence.

The court said it took into account his age, health and status as a former head of state.

The prosecutor had earlier requested that the case be dropped, saying not enough evidence proved intentional corruption.

But the court disagreed, saying “his guilt results from long-standing and reiterated practices” of illegal party financing.

Chirac’s spokeswoman Benedicte Brissart declined to comment, saying time was needed to go over the legal decision in regard to any possible appeal.

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