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The Chirac trial … without Chirac
An old and mysterious affair…
The affair of the “Ghost Jobs” of the city council of Paris were alighted upon for the
first time in 1998, after having been denounced by an employee. They were traced back to the time when Mr Chirac was also Mayor of Paris (1977-1995), president of the RPR (1976-1994) and potential candidate to the Presidential elections. But, by 1998, Mr Chirac had been elected President of France and was consequently protected by “presidential immunity”…In 2007, when his mandate ended, the trial could finally start…
Mr Chirac is accused of two different charges. For starters, the justice department of Paris is investigating charges of embezzlement and breach of trust relating to 21 ghost
jobs. In addition to this, the justice department of Nanterre is also carrying out an investigation into his involvement in an illegal conflict of interest relating to seven ghost jobs.
With regards to the first charges, Mr Chirac already successfully payed off the city council of Paris giving them more than 2,2 millions of euros, and they have consequently withdrawn themselves from the trial. For the second charges, Alain Juppé, then finances deputy mayor, already took part of the hit for him in 2004 when he was condemned to was condemned to 14 months in prison (though this was not enforced), and one year of ineligibility.
Several other hitches have postponed the opening of the trial till now, but it has finally started… all be it without the defendant! A medical report made by the Professor Olivier Lyon-Caen stating that the ex-president was simply too vulnerable to answer questions. But, Mr Chirac wrote to the criminal court of Paris expressing “his desire to see the trial carried out in full” even though “he can’t participate in it (the trial)”. The ex-French President stands to receive 10 years of jail. The trial will take place from the 5th September to 23rd September.
To understand better the Chirac trial, you can also watch a French video made by LeFigaro : http://www.lefigaro.fr/actualite-france/2011/03/04/01016-20110304ARTFIG00373-comprendre-le-proces-chirac.php
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