Jacques Chirac, the former French president, will stand trial for embezzlement in a Paris court early next year, his lawyer said on Tuesday.
By Henry Samuel in Paris
Published: 12:15PM BST 21 Sep 2010
The 77-year-old, whose presidency of France ran from 1995 until 2007, could face a ten-year prison sentence and 150,000-euro (£130,000) fine if found guilty. He will be the first modern French leader to face a corruption trial.
Mr Chirac faces charges of abuse of public funds while he was mayor of Paris. It is alleged that he paid 21 allies for doing non-existent jobs as part of his drive for power in the 1990s. Last month, the Socialist mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, agreed to drop the town hall’s civil lawsuit against Mr Chirac in exchange for 2.2 million euros – the amount of taxpayer’s money it claimed was misused.