Jacques Chirac faces corruption charges
PARIS: Former French President Jacques Chirac will meet before September 15 judges investigating a graft case of fake jobs allegedly involving members of his party during his time as Paris mayor, his lawyer said on Tuesday.
Chirac will appear as an ‘assisted witness’. This means he could later become the subject of a “formal investigation” if new evidence comes to light.
“He said ‘yes’ because he is responsible, he is a citizen like any other for the period that goes up until 1995. He will respond to all the questions in all the cases which concern him,” Veil said on Europe 1 radio.
He said Chirac would meet judges before September 15.
Chirac has denied any wrong-doing during his 18 years as the mayor of the French capital from 1977-95.
He could face questioning on a number of cases but the only dossier to explicitly target him dates back to December 2002 and it involves fraudulent payments allegedly made to members of Chirac’s conservative Rally for the Republic (RPR) party by the City of Paris.
Chirac’s right-hand man during much of that time was Alain Juppe, a former prime minister who stepped down after being beaten in this month’s election for parliament.
Juppe was given a 14-month suspended jail term in December 2004 and barred from public office for one year.
Investigators want to quiz Chirac over a letter Juppe sent him on May 25, 1990 regarding the promotion of individuals on city pay rolls suspected of really working for Chirac’s RPR.
Veil said the file in the case ran to 30,000 pages and that Chirac would see the judges as many times as they requested. reuters