Former French president Jacques Chirac is reportedly too ill to attend his upcoming graft trial in Paris.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Chirac, 78, has sent letters and medical records to trial judges claiming he is not capable of standing trial:
“Judges can accept Mr. Chirac’s request, order additional medical examination, adjourn the trial until the defendant recovers, or dismiss the case.
‘It’s up to the court president to make a decision,’ said Jean Veil, one of Mr. Chirac’s lawyers.
Questions had arisen about whether Mr. Chirac would be present in court after his wife, Bernadette, said in January that the former president ‘sometimes suffers from a number of weaknesses,’ adding that they could be related to a 2005 stroke or to his age.”
The Guardian has the lowdown on the (rather severe) charges facing Chirac:
“Chirac is accused of masterminding the embezzlement of state funds while he was mayor of Paris in what became known as the case of the “fake jobs”.
The corruption saga dates back to the 1990s, when Chirac allegedly added the names of allies from his political party, the RPR, to the Paris city hall payroll, paying them salaries for jobs that never existed.
Chirac allegedly siphoned off state funds for work benefiting the party political machine that ensured his election as president in 1995. He faces charges of embezzlement, breach of trust and illegal conflict of interest.”
But not if he’s too sick to make it to the courthouse… er… right?
Read more about French politics in the latest issue of Carnet Atlantique.