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Chirac gets 2-year suspended sentence

Ex-president found guilty of embezzling public funds over Paris fake city jobs scam

FORMER president Jacques Chirac, 79, has been sentenced to a two-year suspended jail term after being found guilty of embezzling public funds, abusing public confidence and a conflict of interest.

The charges dated back to when he was Paris mayor at the start of the 1990s. He had used city funds to pay for non-existent jobs for members of his RPR party and supporters.

Several members of Chirac's staff have already been found guilty in connection with the case, including present-day Foreign Minister Alain Juppe. He was given a 14-month suspended sentence in 2004.

Chirac - who did not take part in the trial in Paris after doctors said he was suffering from memory lapses - had immunity while president between 1995-2007 and is the first former head of state since wartime leader Marshall Petain to be convicted.

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