Top Paris Olympic bid official in fraud trial

9th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 9 (AFP) - Guy Drut, a former French sports minister and 1976 Montreal Olympic 110 metre hurdles champion, went on trial Monday in one of France's biggest-ever political corruption trials.

PARIS, May 9 (AFP) - Guy Drut, a former French sports minister and 1976 Montreal Olympic 110 metre hurdles champion, went on trial Monday in one of France's biggest-ever political corruption trials.  

A total of 47 defendants - including politicians, party officials and representatives of some of France's biggest building companies - are accused of fixing public works contracts in the Paris region to obtain illegal party funding.  

Drut, 54, a member of parliament for the ruling UMP party of French president Jacques Chirac, is also a member of the Paris team which is the favourite ahead of London, New York, Madrid and Moscow to win the 2012 Games when International Olympic Committee (IOC) members vote in Singapore on July 6.  

He is accused of picking up a EUR 3,000 per month (USD 3,847) salary for a non-existent job with a building company from 1990 to 1993.  

He faces five years in jail and a fine of EUR 375,000 (USD 481,000) plus being struck off public office.  

The scam was operated when Chirac was mayor of Paris and Drut, an IOC member since 1996, was a city councillor.  

The firm ended his contract because he was never in his office more than two or three times a year.  

Drut has argued he was involved in public relations work for the firm.  

"My conscience is clear," said Drut.  

"I worked for this company like a great number of sporting personalities had in the past," said Drut, adding that "every effort deserves a salary".  

"If my presence could in any way hinder the Paris bid I'll take the steps which I deem to be necessary."

© AFP

Subject: French News

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