Chirac avoids trial start
The trial of former French President Jacques Chirac began yesterday in Paris without him, writes Heather Smith.
Lawyers for another defendant sought a delay and asked if the statute of limitations had run out on the allegations.
Mr Chirac's co-defendant Remy Chardon, a chief of staff to the former head of state while he was mayor of Paris, asked Judge Dominique Pauthe to postpone the trial while a higher court reviewed his question on its constitutionality.
Claims that Mr Chirac -- whose court appearance was waived -- used city money to pay loyalists to work for his party date to the 90s. Judge Pauthe rules on the request tomorrow.