Former French President Jacques Chirac will be tried for abuse of public funds in an affair dating from 1983 to 1995, when he was mayor of Paris, French media reported on Friday.
The 76-year-old Chirac is charged with authorising the hiring of 21 people for jobs at the Paris City Hall that they did not carry out. Instead, their salaries were allegedly used to fill the coffers of Chirac's former party, Rally for the Republic.
In his first comment, Chirac said he was "serene" and would work to prove to the court that not one of the 21 jobs in question was fictitious.
In November 2007, after being placed under judicial investigation, Chirac published an opinion piece in the daily Le Monde in which he said that he had "authorised" the hiring of the project assistants and that they were "legitimate."
Investigators said a total of 43 allegedly fictitious jobs, worth 4.5 million euros were created under Chirac and his successor, Jean Tiberi.