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Chirac corruption trial decision due

Judge decides if ex-president faces trial over allegations he created “ghost jobs” to boost his party while Paris mayor

FORMER president Jacques Chirac will find out this week if he is to face corruption charges over 35 fictitious jobs financed by the city of Paris while he was mayor.

Judge Xavière Simeoni must decide by Friday at the latest if she will bring the case to court.

The Paris prosecutor’s office called for the case to be thrown out last month, saying there was not enough evidence to pursue allegations that Chirac and five former mairie officials gave “ghost jobs” to members of his RPR party. It also said the statute of limitations had expired.

It is the first time a former president has been put under judicial investigation and comes alongside the Clearstream affair where Mr Chirac’s prime minister, Dominique de Villepin, is accused of conspiracy over forged documents intended to damage Nicolas Sarkozy’s bid to be president.

Mr Chirac, 77, was charged in 2007 with misusing city funds to boost his party’s finances while mayor between 1977 and 1995. He had presidential immunity until Mr Sarkozy was election in May 2007.
Photo: Eric Pouhier

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