Chirac Convicted :)

[quote]THE conviction of Jacques Chirac has stunned even the political opponents of the former president of France. This morning a Paris court found Mr Chirac guilty of the misuse of public funds during his time as mayor of Paris in the 1990s, and handed him a two-year suspended prison sentence. He is the first former president under the Fifth Republic to have been tried, let alone convicted, in a criminal court. The case concerns what is known as the “fake jobs” affair. While Mr Chirac was mayor of Paris, a powerful job that he used as a springboard to win the French presidency in 1995, various employees paid by the town hall were in reality working for his Gaullist party. Alain Juppé, currently France’s foreign minister and then Mr Chirac’s right-hand man, was convicted in connection with the same affair back in 2004. Seven of the nine co-defendants in the case were also found guilty this week.

For those who had given up hope of ever seeing Mr Chirac held to account, this is an extraordinary decision. For years investigating judges have crawled all over various cases linked to the former president, from inflated grocery bills to public-housing contracts. But almost all of them were shelved. During his time as president, from 1995-2007, Mr Chirac was protected from prosecution. After he left office, several cases expired under the statute of limitations.

Even the current case did not look as if it would get anywhere. There have been endless procedural delays. Last year Mr Chirac and the ruling UMP party, successor to the party he founded and ran, paid back the Paris town hall €2.2m ($2.9m) in connection with the fake-jobs case; in return the town hall, now held by the Socialists, pulled out as civil plaintiff. Even the public prosecutor had pleaded for Mr Chirac’s acquittal.

For his part Mr Chirac, despite reimbursing the town hall, insisted that he had done nothing criminally, or morally, wrong. This autumn his lawyers managed to excuse the 79-year-old former president from attending court on the grounds of mental frailty. They had pleaded to the presiding judge to consider how the decision would weigh on Mr Chirac’s place in history. The paradox is that Mr Chirac has finally been found guilty at a time when public sympathy for him is at a remarkable high. He was not a popular figure when he left office. But in retirement he has become a sort of grandfather figure, looked upon fondly, and he regularly tops popularity polls. He suffers from memory loss, and even some of his detractors have had qualms about the criminal trial. So the French are likely to treat his conviction with mixed feelings, even some regret.

But for the political class, Mr Chirac’s conviction sends a powerful message. It may even presage the end of a culture of impunity in French public office. Besides the convictions of Messrs Chirac and Juppé, there is an ongoing investigation into sexual abuse by a former minister, another into illegal party-financing linked to Lilian Bettencourt, billionaire heiress to the L’Oréal cosmetics empire, and yet another into illegal eavesdropping on journalists. For the first time, there is a sense that French politicians are being held to the same standards as ordinary mortals[/quote]

Interesting… … ues-chirac

I wonder if Germany will ever get around to investigating Schroeder. I suppose it is ironic that the two who led the opposition to the American effort in Iraq for it being all about oil has one conviction and the other with a murky relationship with Russian oil mafioso and now… billions in projects for Iran? Maybe it is really all about oil but the European public was distracted from focusing on which two were really engaging in the corruption and profit-seeking behavior?

[quote]Germany’s Schröder promoting trade with Iran

Apr. 29, 2009
benjamin weinthal, jpost correspondent in berlin , THE JERUSALEM POST

The German Near and Middle East Association (NUMOV), an NGO whose honorary chairman is former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder, is promoting billions of euros of trade between German companies and Iran. NUMOV’s Web site displays an invitation to next week’s fifth annual German-Middle East Round Table: FOCUS IRAN. In an e-mail to The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, Wolfram Trost, a spokesman for the Siemens energy giant, confirmed that “Siemens will participate within the framework of the NUMOV energy round table - focus Iran - on May 5 in Berlin.” Ilan Mor, the chargé d’affairs at the Israeli Embassy in Berlin, told the Post, "We are in a sensitive and delicate time period, and promoting economic trade with Iran is false. It sends the message to Teheran that it is business as usual, and these times cannot be viewed as usual. Such conferences undermine the unity of the international community to pressure Iran to stop its activities in the nuclear field. “We continue to be in contact with the German government regarding German-Iranian trade,” Mor said.

The ballooning German-Iranian trade relationship has been an ongoing source of friction between Israel and the federal republic. Trade between Germany and Iran totaled almost €4 billion in 2008, a 10.5% increase from the previous year. The NUMOV forum to expand trade with Iran follows Schröder’s controversial visit to Teheran in February.
Schröder, considered an opponent of sanctions to force Iran to suspend uranium enrichment
, spoke at the Iranian Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Pictures from that visit on NUMOV’s Web site show Schröder laughing while greeting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ali Larijani, head of the Iranian parliament.

Jonathan Weckerle, a spokesman from the nonpartisan NGO Stop the Bomb, which seeks to modify German political and business behavior to dramatically curtail trade with Teheran, told the Post that "Obama’s tough diplomacy policy is risky, but
German technology deliveries are already pulling the ground from under it. Iran deals such as that of Bayerngas [the biggest municipal gas procurement platform in Germany] trigger no critical response among German politicians or the public, and organization’s like NUMOV shamelessly advertise in public for even better German- Iranian economic ties
. [/quote] … %2FPrinter

History will condem us all.

For those of you unfamiliar with the antics of dear fred smith here, he doesn’t give a shit that a politician was held to account for misuse of public funds. Chirac opposed the American conquest of Iraq, and therefore rankled dear fred dearly. That he’s been convicted is a great victory for the French public and for fred smith, and for entirely different reasons.

All too true… alll too true. Yes, Fred Smith (I shall refer to myself in the third person here) is most gratified to find the former French president convicted. It was Fred Smith after all who listened to the vile invective of so many Europeans regarding the malevolent, Machiavellian and misguided actions of Bush and his team. Now, however, we find that dead silence hits these threads when the two major opponents to the Iraq invasion have engaged in actions that raise concerns regarding their ethicality (deliberate). So, yes, all those riled ranters have fallen silent while those of us who remain can enjoy a good chortle at the lack of appearance by any of them to defend these two stalwarts who were leading the world to a new paradise on earth with Europe to become truly a great actor. Not to say that Europe will not but it will do so under the Deutschmark, er, Euro and that makes me laugh more than anything. I cannot remember the observer but the quote was France will not become the rider and master of the German stallion but rather its stable boy. Clever.

More than a few people from Australia, NZ and smaller countries in the South Pacific would be more than a little happy about the prospect of this guy being convicted for anything. He is the guy who re-started France’s nuclear weapons testing in the South Pacific after it was stopped following the disgraceful bombing of the Rainbow Warrior boat in NZ some years before (committed by French secret service people, an act which if carried out against say the UK, USA, China, Russia etc by France would have probably started a major war, but it was poor NZ…). You don’t have to be a raving right winger to hate Chirac, that is for sure…

No that bombing was never going to start a war. The Kiwis stuck to their hardcore prinicpal by releasing the french agents for a bit of trade.

Not start a war because it was done to NZ. My point is if France had attacked the USA, China etc in such a way (think about it, secret service people blowing up a boat in a foreign harbour…). France used it’s power to basically give NZ no option to act against it short of completely cripling it’s economy. And anyone can guess that NZ would be hard pressed to put up a decent fight against half the states in Africa let alone France. If I remember it correctly (and I think I do) the feeling against the French government in Australia was pretty bad at the time, so I can only imagine in NZ it was more than enough of the sort of level that would usually send the USA to war if the French actions had been directed in a different direction.

Let us not forget that Chirac was a key player, and recipient of millions of $$$$s, in the “Oil-for-Food” deal with Saddam Hussein that left hundreds of thousands to die of starvation.


Glad he was convicted. Pity he won’t see the inside of a prison.

Would be ecstatic to see Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al in the dock.

You may not like Bush, Cheney or Rumsfeld, but they did not engage in any illegal activity that would justify sending them to prison. If you have a case, by all means try to prosecute them… but this has been so tried before and has so failed. Let it go.

Glad the French courts convicted Chirac. He is the first former French head of state to be convicted since Marshal Philippe Petain, both of whom were/are slime bags. I think the judiciary in France is pretty balanced regardless of whether the politician is left or right wing.

However, I puke nasty rancid chunks at the hypocrisy of prosecutors that grossly exceed their authority and try to go after right-wing politicos abroad but ignore the left-leaning ones in their same country. For example, Baltasar Garzón Real in Spain. This asshole went after Pinochet in the 90s, who should have gotten a Nobel Peace Prize for pulling so many Chileans out of poverty. He’s also gone after Gonzales, Yoo and Feith. In Spain, he’s been indicted himself for exceeding his authority when investigating crimes committed by the Franco regime that were included in an amnesty. I hope with the PP back in power in Spain, they further investigate this prick.

I don’t see him going after murderers on the leftist Republican side in Spain that are still alive such as Santiago Carillo. He’s still alive at 97. I’d like to see this scum spend his final days in a cell!

Chirac rankled me when he insisted on carrying out nuclear tests in the 90s. At least I have a valid reason to dislike him.

What is your valid reason for disliking him? Please explain…