Friday, October 30, 2009

Eolas on the Chirac Case ...

... and why the juge d'instruction should not be eliminated. If it were, this case would have ended with the decision of the parquet (which, of course, some will say is where it should have ended). Here.

Chirac to Stand Trial

I must admit I was stunned. Sure, Villepin has been tried, and Pasqua has been convicted. Juppé has purged his punishment. But I thought that presidents were different, that the symbolic status of the presidency, the function of incarnating the Republic, would somehow bestow immunity even where serious evidence existed. The parquet was evidently under the same impression: it recommended dismissal. But the judge--a woman, Xavière Simeoni--was not impressed. Jacques Chirac will stand trial for actions allegedly committed while he was mayor of Paris.

To be sure, the Fifth Republic presidency has been steadily descending from its quasi-otherworldly status from the beginning. But this is a new step, and I think a healthy one, whatever the outcome of the trial. The monarchical aura is gone. Only the autocratic instincts remain.