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Judge to decide on pursuing corruption charges against Chirac

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A French judge will decide this week whether to pursue corruption charges against former President Jacques Chirac, who is accused of misusing city funds while he was Paris mayor.


AFP - A French judge will this week decide whether to pursue corruption charges against former president Jacques Chirac, who is accused of misusing city funds when he was Paris mayor, a report said Sunday.

Judge Xaviere Simeoni will decide by Friday at the latest whether she wants to bring the case to court to decide if municipal funds were used to give "ghost jobs" to members of Chirac's RPR party, the Journal du Dimanche said.

The now 77-year-old Chirac was charged in November 2007 in the case along with five former city hall chiefs of staff and a dozen other people, becoming the first former French president to be put under judicial investigation.

Chirac was mayor of the capital from 1977 to 1995.

The Paris prosecutor's office said last month it had called for the case to be thrown out, arguing there was insufficient evidence of misuse of funds after 1992, and that the statute of limitations had expired for prior events.

Chirac stood down as mayor of Paris in 1995 when he became president. He lost his presidential immunity from prosecution after President Nicolas Sarkozy's election in May 2007.

Former aides to Chirac have defended him against allegations that he presided over a system of illegal money-raising for his party, the Rally for the Republic (RPR).


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