Jacques Chirac will be the first former French leader since World War II to stand trial when hearings begin today on charges he abused his role as mayor of Paris to reward party loyalists.
The heart of the claims against Chirac, 79, lies in a sense of political entitlement many French leaders have felt since long before mobs lopped off the heads of the elite, said anti- corruption activist Daniel Lebegue.
It's about time he gets tried in court for something. But I cannot get too overly excited.
If they really wanted to show some integrity, they would try him for the "Oil For Food" scandal. Of course, they would have to try half of the French government at the time, along with him. Because it would bankrupt the nation, I doubt seriously any of that will happen.
In fact, I look for Chirac to beat these charges because he such a hero there. Of all of the great French presidential failures before him, he takes his place among the greatest. If there was an annual Neville Chamberlain Award, he would have won it several years in a row.