Former French President Jacques Chirac, 78, to go on trial

43596.jpegA French court Tuesday suspended the trial of former president Jacques Chirac on charges of embezzling public funds as mayor of Paris in the 1990s, following a constitutional challenge.

Mr Chirac, 78, the first former French president ever to go before a judge, is accused of using the money to pay people working for his party ahead of a successful election bid in 1995, according to Daily Nation.

Judge Dominique Pauthe agreed to adjourn until June in order to refer a constitutional question raised by the lawyer of one of Chirac's nine co-defendants to an appeals court. That court may then send the case to France's constitutional court.

The lawyer argued that a key complaint in the case was made too long ago to merit a trial today, and that the prosecution should not have combined two cases for a single trial.

The hearings should resume "around June 20" the Paris court said, Deutsche Welle reports.


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