Ex-French leader faces corruption trial

September 5, 2011 - 4:35 AM
Italy Pinault Art

FILE - Former French President Jacques Chirac arrives for the inauguration of an exhibition in Venice's Palazzo Grassi, Italy, in this Wednesday, June 1, 2011 file photo. Chirac isn't well enough to attend his trial in Paris on corruption charges, but the proceedings should go ahead without him, his lawyers said Saturday Sept 3 2011. The trial, which has been repeatedly delayed, involves two cases of fake jobs allegedly created to fund Chirac's conservative party while he was mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995. If convicted, he would face up to 10 years in prison and 150,000 euros ($215,000) in fines. He is the first former head of state to stand trial in France since World War II. (AP Photo/Luigi Costantini, file)

PARIS (AP) — The trial of former French President Jacques Chirac on corruption charges is set to open but possibly without the 78-year-old ex-leader in the courtroom, after his lawyers said he isn't well enough to attend.

A judge will likely rule on the request Monday, when the trial is scheduled to begin.

Chirac's legal team told the court in a letter Friday that the 78-year-old "no longer has the full capacity to participate in court proceedings," according to a statement released a day later. As result, they have asked that Chirac be allowed to skip court appearances.

The trial, which has been repeatedly delayed, involves two cases of fake jobs allegedly created to fund Chirac's conservative party while he was mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995. Chirac has denied wrongdoing.