French Ex-President Chirac Too Ill to Attend Corruption Trial

Posted September 5th, 2011 at 10:30 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Former French President Jacques Chirac was too ill to attend the opening of a corruption trial against him on Monday.

Mr. Chirac's lawyers said the former leader has memory problems and is not competent to attend court.

The former president is accused of embezzling public funds between 1977 to 1995, while he was the mayor of Paris.

Judge Dominique Pauthe was to decide Monday whether to postpone the trial, suspend the proceedings until Mr. Chirac's health improves, or throw the case out.

Mr. Chirac has denied 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 is 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.