Former French President Jacques Chirac has missed the opening of his corruption trial in Paris due to ill health.
Prosecutors say they are happy to accept his request that he be represented by his lawyers but the final decision lies with the judge.
The alternatives include dropping charges against Chirac but not against his nine co-defendants, postponing the case, or throwing it out altogether.
“Oviously a trial without Jacques Chirac loses much relevance. But given that he wants the trial to go ahead, I can only submit myself to the court’s ruling,” said Chirac’s counsel, Georges Kiejman.
According to his doctors, the 78-year-old former Head of State suffers memory lapses and other symptoms that could indicate the onset of Alzheimers.
Chirac has been liable for trial since his presidency ended in 2007 and with it his presidential immunity.
The case revolves around allegations of illegal party funding during nearly two decades as mayor of Paris.
If convicted, Chirac faces up to ten years in jail