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Ex-French President Chirac can skip corruption trial

- Associated Press - Monday, September 5, 2011

PARIS (AP) — A Paris judge has ruled that former French President Jacques Chirac will not be required to attend his long-awaited corruption trial after his lawyers said the 78-year-old Mr. Chirac is suffering memory lapses.

Judge Dominique Pauthe said Monday he took into account an appeal by Mr. Chirac's defense team and said the trial will be allowed to go ahead without the ex-president in court.

France's first trial involving a former head of state since World War II is to run through Sept. 23. It was suspended shortly after it began in March so a higher court could rule on an appeal by one of the co-defendants.

The trial involves two cases centering on the alleged creation of more than two-dozen fake City Hall jobs used to fund Mr. Chirac's conservative party while he was mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995.

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