Chirac corruption trial suspended
the trial of former French President Jacques Chirac on corruption charges was suspended for at least three months yesterday, raising doubts about whether the case will ever come to court, writes John Lichfield.
A constitutional objection, raised by the lawyer of one of Mr Chirac's co-defendants, forced the judge to adjourn the trial until at least June.
Although the Chirac defence team denied all responsibility, anti-corruption campaigners insisted the constitutional complaint was the latest manoeuvre in a lengthy rearguard action by the former president's entourage to spare him the humiliation of a trial.
Depending on the progress of the disputed point through the appeal court and France's equivalent of the Supreme Court, the trial could be delayed for at least six months. The 78-year-old's health, and especially his memory, are already in doubt.