French Ex-President Chirac Trial to Restart in September

Posted June 20th, 2011 at 10:55 am (UTC-5)
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A Paris court says the long-delayed trial of former French president Jacques Chirac on corruption charges will resume September 5.

Mr. Chirac is accused of misusing public funds while serving as the mayor of Paris between 1977 and 1995. He allegedly used the money to pay friends and political allies for non-existent jobs. His nine co-defendants are accused of benefiting from the alleged scheme.

The trial was suspended in March, after defense lawyers argued some charges were too old to be admissible. Their challenge was rejected by the French Constitutional Court.

Mr. Chirac has denied any wrongdoing. If convicted, the 78-year-old former politician faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $210,000.

He was immune from prosecution while president from 1995 to 2007.

Mr. Chirac will be the first French former head of state to go on trial since France's Nazi-era leader, Marshal Petain, was exiled for treason after World War Two.