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Chirac allies go on trial for rigging Paris municipal election

[JURIST] Fifteen allies of French President Jacques Chirac [official profile; BBC profile] went on trial Monday for allegedly rigging a Paris election during Chirac's tenure as the mayor of Paris. Prosecutors allege that the 15 politicians and officials planted 327 fake voters in the electoral register for a 1989 municipal election where Chirac's conservative party won the majority of all 20 Paris districts. Though a Court of Appeals ruling [text, in French] granted Chirac immunity from prosecution while serving as president, he is expected to leave office next year and he may then be investigated in several corruption cases.

In July, a French court convicted 38 people of corruption [JURIST report] for rigging public works contracts to finance political parties while Chirac served as mayor in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Prosecutors alleged that companies kicked back money spent by the regional Ile-de-France Council for secondary school construction to political parties including Chirac's Rally for the Republic, the Republican Party and the Socialists. Chirac denied any knowledge of the kickbacks. Reuters has more.

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