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Former French President Jacques Chirac convicted of corruption

A judge found Chirac guilty of embezzling public funds Thursday but suspended his two-year sentence in the landmark case.

He was the first former French head of state to face prosecution in more than 15 years.

The 79-year former president, who was not at the trial because of health reasons, was found guilty of misusing public money and abusing his power while mayor of Paris between 1977 to 1995.

Chirac has repeated denied any wrongdoing. Nine others have also been implicated in the case.

Chirac was accused of paying members of his Rally for the Republic political party with city funds by creating bogus municipal jobs for them.

He was facing a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a $160,000 fine.


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