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Chirac Trial: End Of Immunity

  • March 8th, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

chirac-page.jpgA Paris court has begun hearing political corruption charges against the former French President, Jacques Chirac, dating back to the 1990s.

He has been accused of putting agents of his political party, the conservative grouping RPR, into fake jobs on the city payroll, when he was Mayor of Paris.

See EUAustralia Online, “Updates: Paris, Brussels, London, Moscow”, 20.7.07.

He has denied knowing of the practice while it was going on.

The trial has taken so long to begin because of disputes about the meaning and extent of the immunity from prosecution that he enjoyed, while President from 1995 to 2007.

The convention of immunity for heads of state, or of government  has its critics, for conferring too much deference on men and women with feet of clay.

In Italy a complex legal process was needed to overturn the protection from prosecution given to the Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, clearing the way to current court action against him, for financial misconduct and crimes involving a prostitute.

See EUAustralia Online: “Bunga-Bunga! Berlusconi set for April trial”, 16.2.11; “Bunga-Bunga …”, 15.1.11.