Graft trial opens for French ex-president Chirac
Paris: Jacques Chirac`s embezzlement trial opens on Monday with his lawyers arguing that the French former president is too unwell to attend but insisting that the case must still go ahead.
The 78-year-old right-winger, best known internationally for his opposition to the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, has been linked to a series of corruption scandals but was never convicted.
Chirac, who became France`s best loved politician after leaving office in 2007, stands accused of using public funds to pay people working for his party ahead of his successful 1995 presidency bid.
If found guilty, he faces up to 10 years in jail and a fine of 150,000 euros (USD 214,000) on charges that include embezzlement and breach of trust during the years he served as mayor of Paris.
He enjoyed immunity from prosecution as president from 1995 to 2007, but the case, which has already seen current Foreign Minister Alain Juppe convicted, has finally caught up with him.
He avoided the dock in March when lawyers for a co-defendant won a postponement by arguing certain charges were unconstitutional. But the highest appeals court ruled the challenge over the statute of limitations was invalid.
It appeared that he was again going to avoid a court appearance after his lawyers said Saturday they had submitted a medical report to the presiding judge that said he was medically unfit to attend.
But they also said the ex-president wanted the trial to go ahead so that the French people could see that top politicians were not above the law.
Judge Dominique Pauthe will on Monday have to respond to the medical report. His options include dropping the case, postponing it or seeking further medical opinion.
Paris city hall last year dropped its civil charges against him in return for a payment of more than 2.2 million euros, from him and the right-wing UMP party.
Chirac, who has also served two terms as prime minister and 18 years as mayor of Paris, paid more than half a million euros of this from his own pocket but did not acknowledge any wrongdoing.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- I eat beef, can somebody stop me?: Kiren Rijiju hits back at Naqvi
- Delhi: Visually impaired boy scores 91.4% in CBSE 12th Board exams
- MP: 14-year-old boy works as bonded labour since 2009
- UP: Man chops off wife's nose, hair for dowry
- Zee Media Exclusive: The plight of yoga expert Tejaswi Sharma
- Woman denied flat in Mumbai for being a Muslim
- Heat ave continues in India, death toll climbs to over 1,400
- 4 Indians in Forbes' 100 most powerful women list
- Gujjar stir: HC asks Rajasthan govt to clear rail track, roads
- Megastar Amitabh Bachchan slapped with Rs 1 crore notice
- Kenyan lawyer offers to marry Barack Obama's daughter Malia
- Gujjar stir: HC asks Rajasthan govt to clear rail track, roads- Part II
- AIB: The 'Third Gender's right to dignity'
- Salman Khan accident files burnt in Mantralaya fire
- Maggi likely to face ban in India!
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 to be announced today
- Check mahresult.nic.in for MSBSHSE Maharashtra Class 12 HSC Result 2015
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 (cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in) postponed?
- Maharashtra MSBSHSE HSC Result 2015 on mahresult.nic.in
- I was misquoted, says Kiren Rijiju on 'beef' remark
- First look: Salman Khan steals thunder in `Bajrangi Bhaijaan`
- Check cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in for CBSE Class 10 Result 2015
- mahresult.nic.in updated with MSBSHSE Maharashtra HSC Class XII Result 2015
- Manmohan Singh defends himself on 2G charge, slams Modi govt for 'carbon copy' schemes
- CBSE Class 10 (Class X Board) Result 2015 on cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in at 2 pm
- Sonia Gandhi 'unconstitutional authority' during UPA: PM Narendra Modi
- Hours after attacking NDA govt, Manmohan Singh meets PM Narendra Modi
- Reservation stir: Five percent job quota to Gujjars unlikely, hints Rajasthan govt
- PMO website revamped, now send e-mail to PM Modi directly
- Death toll climbs to over 1400 as intense heatwave continues in India