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Chirac to face trial by early next year

By the CNN Wire Staff
Jacques Chirac was mayor of Paris between 1977 and 1995, the year he became president.
Jacques Chirac was mayor of Paris between 1977 and 1995, the year he became president.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The former French president is accused of embezzlement
  • His lawyer says the trial will beheld by February
  • A court date is expected to be set October 1
RELATED TOPICS
  • Jacques Chirac
  • France

Paris, France (CNN) -- Former French President Jacques Chirac will stand trial for embezzlement by early next year, his lawyer said Tuesday.

"It will take place in November, or more likely in January or February 2011," lawyer Jean Veil told Europe 1 radio.

The Paris courthouse is expected to decide the date for the trial October 1.

The allegations stem from Chirac's time as mayor of Paris. He allegedly used seven city employees -- who were hired by the city of Paris in the early 1990s and were on the city payroll -- to work for his right-wing political party, RPR.

Chirac was mayor of Paris between 1977 and 1995, the year he became president. The RPR party no longer exists.

Former French Prime Minister Alain Juppe was sentenced in December 2004 for his role in the affair, but Chirac benefited from presidential immunity at the time. After Chirac left office in May 2007, he made it known he was available to answer any questions on the matter.

Chirac could face a five-year sentence and a fine of 75,000 euros (about $100,000) if found guilty of using the employees to work for his party.

The former president denies the accusations.

CNN's Saskya Vandoorne contributed to this report.

 
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