French judge targets Chirac over party jobs scam

French judge targets Chirac over party jobs scam

A judge filed preliminary charges against former President Jacques Chirac on Friday over allegations that Paris City Hall paid for jobs in his political party when was mayor, part of a financing scandal that has long dogged the man who for decades dominated French politics, AP reported.

The case, which in 2004 led to the conviction of former Prime Minister Alain Juppe, is just the latest legal headache for Chirac. On Oct. 30, a judge ordered the former president to stand trial for embezzlement and breach of trust in an alleged corruption case also linked to his term as Paris mayor.

An investigating judge questioned Chirac on Friday about seven jobs at his former conservative party that were improperly paid for by City Hall or by construction companies while he was mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995, the year he became president. The jobs in question date from September 1990 to May 1995.

Aside from running Paris City Hall, Chirac also served simultaneously as a lawmaker, head of his political party, then called the Rally for the Republic, and as prime minister from 1986-88.

Chirac, 77, was placed under investigation - meaning that the investigating judge has ruled there is strong evidence to suggest involvement in a crime. It also gives investigators more time to decide whether to send a suspect to trial or drop the case.

Were Chirac to go to trial on this latest issue, he would face up to five years in prison and risk a fine of up to euro75,000 ($107,000) if convicted.

Chirac's office announced the development, noting that he had been questioned as a material witness in the investigation in 2007 and "there has been no new elements since then."

Chirac, who founded the Rally for the Republic party, or RPR, reborn as UMP - President Nicolas Sarkozy's party - has for years been dogged by a series of corruption cases linked to party financing with allegations he set up a system to feed millions of euros (dollars) of funds to his party.

Chirac "reaffirms that no 'system' ever existed at Paris City Hall," said the statement from his office. "He is determined to make this known."

In July 2007, just two months after leaving office, Chirac was questioned in the investigation. An investigating judge had turned up a 1993 letter in which Chirac requested a raise for a secretary who was paid by City Hall - but who actually worked at party headquarters.

Chirac wrote a column at the time in the daily Le Monde newspaper noting that France long had no judicial rules laying out a framework for party financing. He noted that France passed several laws from 1988 to 1995 as it tried to clarify the rules. "In a few years, we had to pass from a system of customs and arrangements to a regime clearly laid out by the law," he wrote.

Chirac already risks up to 10 years in prison, and a fine of up to euro150,000 in the earlier case in which he is being sent to trial - though observers say a prison sentence would be highly unlikely. It will mark the first time a former leader of modern France is forced to stand trial. No date has been set.

The statement from his office Friday said Chirac hoped the judicial process in both cases would move quickly "so that it will be shown definitively that he can be faulted for nothing."

While Chirac was president from 1995 to 2007, investigating judges went after him unsuccessfully in corruption scandals. He used his presidential immunity to keep them at arm's length. After he left office, the dockets were reopened.

Friday's move revives a case that had already embarrassed Chirac and netted a conviction in 2003 against one of his top proteges, Juppe, who was convicted for his role in the scheme while serving as finance director at City Hall under Chirac.

Juppe received a 14-month suspended sentence and a yearlong ban from politics.

Top Iranian cleric condemns Armenia killing innocents in Azerbaijan's Barda city
Top Iranian cleric condemns Armenia killing innocents in Azerbaijan's Barda city
Iran must support to Azerbaijan fully - Iranian MP
Iran must support to Azerbaijan fully - Iranian MP
Iran strongly condemns Armenia's missile attack on Azerbaijan's Barda
Iran strongly condemns Armenia's missile attack on Azerbaijan's Barda
Loading Bars
US to sell F-35 fighter jets to UAE, White House tells Congress
In Germany, car rams into group of passersby with one person killed, three injured
Moscow records another 69 coronavirus deaths
WHO registers over 479,000 COVID-19 cases in 24 hours worldwide
Facebook quarterly revenue beats estimates
Numerous sites hit by missiles attack on Azerbaijani Barda were in civilian areas - VICE News reporter (VIDEO)
Innovation Financing component of Georgian GITA supports provision of grants
VICE News highlights use of banned cluster munitions by Armenia to attack Azerbaijani Barda
Forces and equipment Armed Forces of Armenia destroyed
Azerbaijan to establish embassy in Cuba
Strike on Azerbaijani is tragedy - Chairperson of Migration, Refugees, Displaced Persons Council of PACE
ICRC facilitates handover of combatants bodies killed in action during escalation of Karabakh conflict
Amnesty International verifies use of banned cluster bombs by Armenia to attack Azerbaijani Barda (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan avenges attack on Barda: Armenian units that subjected to fire civilian infrastructure, civilian population destroyed (VIDEO)
GUAM strongly condemns missile attacks on Azerbaijani cities by Armenia
French COJEP issues report on civilian casualties as result of Armenian attacks on densely populated Azerbaijani areas
Nizami Ganjavi International Center discusses renewed fighting between Armenia, Azerbaijan
Georgian Meskhetian Brand Winemaking Company enters new markets
Armenian Armed Forces' attempts to attack prevented in several directions - MoD
Azerbaijan issues statement on handing over bodies of killed servicemen to Armenia
Azerbaijan's MoD notes chaos, mass desertion in Armenian army
Azerbaijan eyes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in upcoming years
Azerbaijan ratifies agreement on interaction of CIS member states' customs authorities
Azerbaijan reveals volume of tobacco production in Shaki district
UK increases import of Azerbaijani-made products
Georgia to cover utility fees of certain citizens starting from November
Canadian company to be engaged in gold mining in Georgia
Azerbaijani AFB Bank's net profit decreases
EBRD supports Georgian transport sector
No simple solution for Karabakh conflict, says Russian president
Azerbaijan approves law to rename 'Veng' village in Khojavand district into 'Chinarli'
Azerbaijani Prosecutor General's Office updates on woman killed following Armenia's missile fire
Azerbaijan to establish embassy in Cuba
Chairman of Azerbaijani community of Nagorno Karabakh calls on Canadian MP to apologize
Ombudsman of Azerbaijan sends protest letter to UNICEF regarding Armenian provocations
KAZ Minerals metals output on track to exceed full year production guidance
Reports about shelling of Russian border outpost false, says Azerbaijan's MoD
Servicemen of Armenian regiment refuse to take part in Karabakh hostilities
Russia making vigorous efforts to de-escalate Karabakh conflict as soon as possible - MFA
German allocates additional funds to Georgia for fighting COVID-19
Armenian Armed Forces shelling Azerbaijan’s Goranboy, Tartar, Barda
National Bank of Georgia sells funds at foreign exchange auction
World will lose heavily from enmity with Turkey and Azerbaijan, Turkish top official on Trend's 'Baku-Istanbul' teleconference (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Discussions related to durable resolution of Karabakh conflict ongoing constantly - OSCE (Exclusive)
CNPC Drilling Company in Turkmenistan opens tender to buy electric batteries
Number of high-ranking Armenian officials dismissed from their posts within month
One more Azerbaijani civilian killed by Armenian Armed Forces - top official
Azerbaijan sharply increases import of eggs from Georgia
Lebanese human rights defenders condemn Armenian vandalism in Beirut
Armenia once again violates ceasefire agreements - FACTS
Azerbaijan increases tea imports from Georgia
VTB Bank Kazakhstan's parent bank expected to facilitate bank's growth plans for 2020-2021
Azerbaijan appeals to UNICEF regarding Armenia's terror against Barda's civilians
Facebook gains court backing in document row with EU regulators
Commissioning of desalination plant in Kazakhstan's semi-desert zone postponed
Number of debit cards in Azerbaijan continues to grow
Georgia reduces imports of construction materials from Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan reduces import of cigarettes from Georgia
Residents of Barda fully confident in Azerbaijani army - Executive authority
Georgia increases oil import from Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan reveals details of casualties, injuries in Tartar inflicted by Armenian troops
Electricity production using renewable energy sources increases in Kazakhstan
Azerbaijan increases import of passenger cars from Georgia
Kazakhstan decreases imports from Austria
Precious metal prices in Azerbaijan down
Austria interested in further promoting economic co-op with Turkmenistan
People like Vladimir Yevseev call on Armenia to commit war crimes - Israeli expert
Ronaldinho films video message in support of Azerbaijan
Missile-hit area of Azerbaijan's Barda city targeted purposefully - Executive Office
Armenian military-political leadership to be punished soon – Azerbaijani prosecutor general
Kazakhstan, Spain trade down nearly threefold amid COVID-19
Bashkortostan boosts fuel export to Uzbekistan
President Ilham Aliyev calls President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Azerbaijan confirms 483 more COVID-19 recoveries
Small industrial zone to be created in Uzbekistan’s Tashkent
First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva congratulates brotherly people of Turkey on 29 October-Republic Day
Kazakhstan, Austria agree on Action Plan of Kazakhstan-Austrian Business Council for 2021
Armenian leadership shelled Tartar ignoring visit of diplomats - President's aide
Azerbaijani currency rates for Oct. 29
China's premium car buyers drive VW back to profit
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for October 29
Kraft Heinz third-quarter sales beat estimates
Bahar Azadi gold coin price again rising in Iran
Georgia has record high grape harvest in past 30 years
Int'l journalist sends Letter to Joe Biden in regards to his statement on Karabakh
Armenia shells Goygol district, fire breaks out in forest - Ministry of Emergency Situations
Joint technical committee to be set up related to Khudafarin & Giz Galasi hydro junctions
ADB approves loan to support Georgia’s economic recovery
Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan increases value of its agricultural production
Turkmenistan plans to increase natural gas supplies to China
Armenian servicemen, who fire at civilians in Azerbaijan’s Barda, killed on battlefield (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan shoots down two Su-25 of Armenia – Defense ministry
Aircraft of Azerbaijani Armed Forces not involved in today's battles - Defense Ministry
Turkish Airlines to launch multiple charter flights to Georgia
Georgia's economic growth rate to up
Armenia used cluster bombs prohibited by all int'l conventions to attack civilians in Barda - Assistant to First Vice President of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s all Smerch multiple rocket launchers fully operational – Defense ministry
Azerbaijan's Zangilan city liberated not long before 27-year anniversary of its occupation
Azerbaijan hands over bodies of soldiers, captured civilians to Armenia - president's aide
Azerbaijan bombing maternity hospital in Nagorno-Karabakh's Khankendi - fake
All news