The former French President Jacques Chirac was found guilty by a French criminal court of misusing Paris city funds during his tenure as the mayor of the city. He was given a two year suspended prison sentence, which means that this would be recorded in his criminal record but he would not be jailed unless he commits further offences. The 79 year old former president has denied all charges made against him. He did not attend the court proceedings due to ill health. His doctors say that he has irreversible neurological problems which causes memory lapse.
Jacques Chirac was the French President from 1995 to 2007. He is said to have been the principal author of the plan through which the Paris city funds were used to benefit his party loyalists. He was accused of paying the members of his Rally for the Republic party for municipal jobs that did not exist. Of the 28 job contracts that were reviewed by the court, Chirac was found guilty of misusing the public funds on 12 of the job posts. Investigation against him was delayed as the former president had legal immunity as the head of the state. The French courts verdict is seen as a stain on the former president’s character although he believes and says that the people of France know that he was an honest man who worked only for the peace and grandeur of the country.
Report by Priyanka S Menon