Chirac questioned by French judges in corruption probe

Chirac questioned by French judges in corruption probe

[JURIST] French investigating magistrates questioned former President Jacques Chirac [official profile; BBC profile] in their probe of an alleged corruption scheme [JURIST report] during Chirac's tenure as the mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995, judiciary officials confirmed Thursday. Chirac, who is being questioned as a material witness, allegedly financed the Rally for the Republic (RPR) [Wikipedia backgrounder], now renamed as the Union for a Popular Movement [party website, in French], by illegally establishing fake city positions for party members to collect salaries totaling several million dollars. Under French law, a material witness is not formally a suspect, but may be indicted pending the investigation.

In June, Chirac lawyer Jean Veil indicated that judges would likely question Chirac [JURIST report], but emphasized that the Chirac will not answer questions concerning scandals that allegedly occurred during Chirac's tenure as president of France [JURIST news archive] because the French constitution grants judicial immunity to the president. AP has more.