Jacques Chirac and his friends have been suspected of corruption for many years, and his chums look indeed set to go to jail:
A major corruption trial has begun in France involving allies of President Jacques Chirac from his time as Paris mayor in the 1980s and 1990s.
Among the 47 accused are former Sports Minister Guy Drut, who is currently on Paris’ Olympic bid committee.
The trial centres on a system alleged to have been initiated by President Chirac’s Rally for the Republic (RPR).
Companies are accused of paying major political parties to win contracts to renovate schools around Paris.
Prosecutors argue that the RPR and its ally, the Republican Party, received donations worth 1.2% of awarded contracts, while the Socialists got 0.8%.
The arrangement allegedly lasted from 1989 to 1997.
Mr Chirac was the mayor of Paris for 18 years, until he was elected president in 1995.
The French political attitude is quite tolerant of corruption, but it seems that Chirac has gone way too far even by these lax standards. It is an open secret that he would have gone to jail if he hadn’t been elected as French President. He was very glad about his reprieve, but it looks now as if it might backfire badly. Patience with him has run out after all these years of evading justice, and now Émile Zola Jr, one of the most influential French writers, has penned a fiery essay, in which he is demanding impeachment and capital punishment for the Jacques Chirac, and even calls for a thoroughly renewed French republic:
May justice run its course!