On March 7, 2011, a French court began the corruption trial of former French president Jacques Chirac began. Chirac was accused of misusing public funds while he was serving as the mayor of Paris. Specifically, Chirac and nine others were accused of establishing fake government positions in order to funnel money to Chirac's political party, the Union for a Popular Movement. Claims that the prosecution's disregard for the statute of limitations violated the French Constitution caused the trial to be temporarily suspended. However, the trial continued in May 2011. Chirac was ultimately convicted in December 2011 and issued a two-year suspended sentence. The initial investigation of Chirac began in December 2009, and his trial marked the first time any former French president was called to answer charges before a court of law.
Learn more about France, Jacques Chirac and the laws governing corruption from the JURIST news archive.