An investigating magistrate on Friday ordered the former French president, Jacques Chirac, to stand trial on corruption charges dating to his time as mayor of Paris, reinforcing the whiff of alleged malfeasance swirling around the political elite here.Sure, Chirac may not be a full-blown socialist like many French pols, but calling the guy a conservative is really a stretch.
If he comes to trial, Mr. Chirac will be the first former French head of state to be prosecuted for corruption, news reports said, offering a humiliating book-end to a career as a towering presence in French politics for 30 years.
The order by the magistrate, Xavière Siméoni, may still be challenged by public prosecutors who have already requested that the charges against the conservative Mr. Chirac, 76, be abandoned. If the prosecutors appeal Friday’s order, it could take months for judges to determine whether he should face trial.
The development came at a time when one of Mr. Chirac’s most prominent aides, former prime minister Dominique de Villepin, is in court defending himself against separate charges of planning a smear campaign in 2003 and 2004 against Nicolas Sarkozy, a political rival who is the current president.
The charges against Mr. Chirac and nine other people relate to his years as mayor of Paris, and involve accusations of awarding contracts for fictitious positions as city advisers in return for political favors.
I hope this weasel gets what he's got coming.