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Jacques Chirac corruption trial delayed

Jacques Chirac corruption trial delayed
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Former French President Jacques Chirac is out of court for now after a judge suspended his corruption trial.

The criminal process was postponed until June following a constitutional objection by a lawyer for one of the case’s other co-defendants.

Chirac’s lawyer Georges Kiejman insisted his client was not involved in the move.

‘‘President Chirac will not rejoice at this, contrary to what some will say. He understood the need to come and explain and that’s what he wanted.’‘

Investigators have accused the former head of state of channelling public money into ghost jobs for his party while mayor of Paris.

Jérôme Karsenti a lawyer for anti-corruption group Anticor said: ‘‘Given that Jacques Chirac held multiple mandates at the time, he used Paris city hall as a promotion system, allowing him to run as a presidential candidate.’‘

Now 78 years old, Chirac ran the French capital from 1977 until 1995, before becoming president.

Despite enjoying increasing popularity in France, Chirac is the first French head of state to go on trial since 1945.