France's Chirac in legal deep water

15th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Jacques Chirac was found guilty of embezzlement Thursday in a case that for the first time saw a former French president face charges in court.

Here are key dates since the scandal unfolded:

- October 1995: An investigating magistrate receives accusations of illegal payments of salaries to employees for Chirac's Rally for the Republic (RPR) party during Chirac's tenure as mayor of Paris between 1977 and 1995.

- January 11, 2000: A Paris appeals court confirms that Chirac will have immunity from prosecution during his presidential mandate.

- December 1, 2004: On appeal, Alain Juppe, a former prime minister, is convicted of involvement in the scandal and banned from holding elected office for a year.

- April 19, 2005: The UMP party, which replaced the RPR, reimburses 889,618 euros to the Paris authorities.

- July 19, 2007: Chirac, whose immunity came to an end on June 16, a month after the end of his presidency, is grilled by a judge and denies the illegal payment of salaries.

- December 15, 2011: Chirac is convicted of graft but escapes jail, receiving a suspended two year sentence.

© 2011 AFP

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