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article imageFormer French president Chirac charged with embezzlement

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By Kevin Jess     Oct 30, 2009 in Crime
The former president of France has been charged for alleged embezzlement dating as far back as the 1990s when he was the mayor of Paris.
In an unprecedented move, French magistrate, Xaviere Simeoni has ordered former French President Jacques Chirac to stand trial on embezzlement charges, reports VOA News.
Mr. Chirac, 76, was mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995 when he became president of France.
His office has confirmed in a statement that he and nine others have been charged for allegedly having a role in awarding 21 contracts for jobs that did not exist.
Chirac has denied any wrong-doing, and is determined to clear himself, reports the Telegraph.
Mr. Chirac has been plagued by several scandals but to date has avoided prosecution, says VOA News.
No former French head of state has ever been brought to trial on corruption charges but several of Chirac's former allies and associates have been convicted.
International relations professor Steven Ekovich, of the American University of Paris, said in an interview with VOA News, "It's a little surprising, but I doubt it's going to go very far, mostly because of his age. And I can't imagine that President Sarkozy will let it go very far. I think this is just part of the justice system following procedures."
Since Chirac left the presidency, his popularity has soared.
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