Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

DR Congo authorities find ten more mass graves in Kasai

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Poll suggests Trump presidency takes toll on US image abroad

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

France's new parliament: 'Debutante ball' at the Bourbon Palace

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: Electro Deluxe, Paris Hip-Hop Festival and TLC's comeback

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Frankfurt leads Paris in race for Brexit spoils

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

20 years of Harry Potter

Read more

THE DEBATE

Modi meets Trump: The ties that bind US, India leaders

Read more

FOCUS

Left-wing activism on the rise in the United States

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

'Huge failure' on refugee crisis is 'existential problem for EU'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

An overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday live at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2011-12-16

Chirac verdict: 'Guilty?! Me?!'

France's papers report on the historic guilty verdict for former French President Jacques Chirac. His political career now gets a damaging footnote: a two-year suspended sentence. And the US withdrawal from Iraq also gets full coverage. That's the focus for this French press review, Friday 16th December 2011.

The main left-wing paper Liberation shows Jacques Chirac presented with a close-up head shot in black and white as if he is a common criminal. The paper writes the charges over that face: abuse of trust, embezzling public funds and illegal conflict of interest. The former president was given a two-year suspended sentence for paying members of his party for municipal jobs that did not exist during his 18 years as Mayor of Paris. The paper’s editorial says you have to spare a thought for him given his age and state of health. He has memory lapses and was not in court. But it adds that you have to praise the judge’s decision, all the while bearing in mind that this ruling comes a couple of decades after the events.

Le Parisien headlines “Ca finit mal” (“It ends badly”) saying it is the first time a former president has been sentenced. The cartoon inside shows Chirac speaking to the judge saying: “Guilty?! Me?!” and the judge replying: “Don't worry, François Hollande will probably pardon you on the 14th of July”. The Socialist presidential candidate Hollande is shown in polls as the favourite to win the presidency next year and if he does so he will have the right to grant a pardon.

The news website Rue 89 has a tweet from its editor in chief saying: “I do not share the crocodile tears for Jacques Chirac - his health is one thing, justice is another and justice had its day".

The front page of the right-wing daily Le Figaro is - surprise, surprise - putting Chirac’s sentence as the second main story on its front page showing just a grim-faced photo of the former leader. The inside coverage says there is “sadness and bewilderment on the right and restraint on the left’ about this ruling. It quotes the former president as saying that he contests the verdict “categorically” but will not appeal as he “did not, alas, have the strength to lead a battle for the truth”.

Le Figaro, meanwhile, looks at the war in Iraq. The editorial on the front page says the conflict served no purpose. The war began badly, the paper says, as it emerged Saddam Hussein did not have any weapons of mass destruction and that his alleged alliance with al Qaeda was largely invented. The paper says the conflict ends with Iraq lacking political stability and Iran poised to extend its influence in the region. 

By Nicholas RUSHWORTH

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2017-06-27 Brazil

Poll suggests Trump presidency takes toll on US image abroad

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Tues. 27.06.17: In Brazil, the chief prosecutor has charged Michel Temer with corruption. Temer claims his innocence, but it's the first time a sitting...

Read more

2017-06-27 French Parliament

France's new parliament: 'Debutante ball' at the Bourbon Palace

FRENCH PAPERS - Tues. 27.06.17: The spotlight is on the French parliament as newly elected lawmakers get to work. French daily Le Parisien likens it to a debutante ball. The new...

Read more

2017-06-26 Donald Trump

When Modi met Trump: Budding romance or one-night stand?

IN THE WORLD PAPERS - Monday, June 26: The British government sends its 15-page Brexit outline to the EU with a list of demands that include continued European health insurance...

Read more

2017-06-26 La République en marche

That's one long sausage: New world record for French butchers

IN THE FRENCH PAPERS - Monday, June 26: MPs for Emmanuel Macron's La République en Marche party prepare to enter parliament this week after a weekend of initiation. On their...

Read more

2017-06-23 Brexit

'Philando Castile's death poses questions that still need answering'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Fri. 23.06.17: British Prime Minister Theresa May gets a warm welcome at a two-day EU summit in Brussels, but many papers expect a clash to come....

Read more