A French court has given former President Jacques Chirac a two-year suspended prison sentence for diverting public funds and abusing public confidence. Mr Chirac, 79, ho was apparently fit and well enough only 4 years ago to be President of one of the most important nations in the world, unfortunately suffers from Saunders syndrome and suffers from memory lapses
He was convicted of paying members of his party for non-existent local government jobs, which sounds less like corruption and more like fraud to me. In a bizarre twist the prosecution had urged the judge to acquit Mr Chirac and nine others accused in the trial, but clearly the wrong payoffs were made because the accused still went down albeit with a soft landing.
Of course Chirac wasn't the only politician to pick up a criminal record from the case. In 2004, several politicians including Alain Juppe were convicted in connection with the case.
Mr Juppe was given a 14-month suspended sentence, but the fact that he wouldn't get through a CRB check hasn't held him back; he is now France's Foreign Minister.
Chirac is the first French head of state to be convicted since Marshal Petain. Of course, if Dominique Strauss-Kahn makes a political comeback, which seems entirely possible if not likely, then I would lay good odds on him being the next.