Chirac turns 75, under shadow of graft probe

29th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

29 November 2007, PARIS, - Former French president Jacques Chirac celebrated his 75th birthday on Thursday, a week after he was placed under investigation over the improper use of city funds when he was mayor of Paris.

29 November 2007

PARIS, - Former French president Jacques Chirac celebrated his 75th birthday on Thursday, a week after he was placed under investigation over the improper use of city funds when he was mayor of Paris.

Chirac's office said he had received "many" messages" and gifts, from foreign leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Jordan's King Abdullah II, and Morocco's King Mohammed VI.

"It's a working day like any other, but there have been a lot of phone calls, from a great many personalities," said one office member.

Chirac's staff held a lunchtime party at his Paris offices, presenting the former president -- a lifelong admirer of Asian cultures -- with an Asian artefact as a gift.

Chirac, who stood down following President Nicolas Sarkozy's election in May, last week became the first former French head of state to be put under judicial investigation, a first step towards possible criminal charges.

The case concerns allegations that Paris funds were used to give front jobs at City Hall to individuals from Chirac's Rally for the Republic Party (RPR). Chirac was mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995, when he became president.

AFP

Subject: French news

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