GayandRight

My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (www.freethinkingfilms.com)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Gee, this sounds like the Liberals...

Nice to see this happening to Chirac, but will it change anything?
The suspicion of past corruption tainting Jacques Chirac's presidency returned to haunt him yesterday when a court imposed suspended sentences and fines on his former henchmen.

A defence lawyer representing one of the most prominent of the 47 accused of an illegal party funding scandal had earlier spoken of "empty chairs" in the Paris courtroom.

One man missing from the proceedings was "the president whose name we dare not utter," the lawyer alleged.

The outcome of the trial, which highlighted kickbacks of £50 million from school building contracts, was another crushing indictment of a political system riddled with corruption from the late 1980s to the mid 1990s.

The main beneficiary of the kickbacks was the RPR, the party Mr Chirac founded in 1976.

As president, Mr Chirac has immunity from prosecution and would continue to avoid possible legal action if he defied predictions and successfully stood for a third term in 2007.

He has denied knowledge of the illegal practices that have provoked a series of criminal prosecutions of some of his closest aides but has refused to be questioned for them.

Michel Roussin, his chief of staff when he was mayor of Paris, was among those convicted yesterday at the end of one of France's biggest ever corruption trials. He received a suspended jail term of four years and was fined £35,000.

Roussin, 66, denied overseeing the scam between 1989 and 1995 and sometimes even collecting the payments, made by firms in return for contracts totalling £2.5 billion to build or repair school canteens in the Paris area.

He admitted knowing of the system. But his lawyer said it was unfair for him to be accused when others in higher positions had not been brought to justice.

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