Jacques Chirac received a 2-year suspended sentence for misuse of public funds while mayor of Paris. He is the first French chief of state to be convicted of a crime since Marshal Pétain. The verdict is sadly anticlimactic, coming at a time when most people have forgotten Chirac the ruthless politician and remember only the grandfatherly duffer.
For those who wish to be reminded of the other Chirac, I recommend a TV documentary on the Front National entitled "Le Diable de la République." It features, among other fine moments, the famous speech in which Chirac, pioneering the tactic (now associated with Sarkozy) of poaching on FN territory, delivered a speech attacking immigrants for bringing polygamy, large families, odors, and noise to an otherwise tranquil France.
I knew of this speech, of course, but had never before seen it, since the Internet did not exist in those days, nor was French TV yet available in the US. Seeing it makes it possible to appreciate the tone as well as the words, and in expressing contempt for immigrants Chirac surpasses Sarkozy by a country mile. The irony, of course, is that he was later able to claim victory in 2002 as the anti-Le Pen candidate and defender of French democracy--a pose for which we see a younger Marine Le Pen mercilessly mocking him with a dead-on Chirac imitation worthy of Nicolas Canteloup.
So, when you are inclined to find fault with the judicial system for piling on to a semi-senile 80-yr-old for crimes committed 20 years ago, remember the other Jacques Chirac, and know that in a certain roundabout sense, justice was done.