The police also are looking into suggestions that the company, which was run by a Chirac ally, offered six free flights to the president’s wife worth a total of 41,121 euros ($65,766) between June 1998 and July 1999.
. . .
Mr Chirac, president since 1995, has survived a series of scandals including an uproar over large suspect cash payments he made for private trips abroad in the 1990s.
Bernadette obviously was trying to save money, since clearly she and Jacques can’t manage on a budget of €82 million a year (approx $100,000,000), which brings an income of €31,900,000. Not quite at par with Fidel, but getting there.
While all of this investigation of Bernadette goes on, Jacques is not taking it lying down, and A French lawyer has accused President Jacques Chirac of impeding criminal investigations into the alleged illegal use of private jets by his wife, Bernadette.
There are two important points in this (latest) get-Jacques-rich-scheme:
- Under French law, the undeclared donation or receipt of a public company’s resources can be regarded as embezzlement.
- Mr Chirac is immune from questioning or prosecution as long as he is head of state but his wife is not.
Does this mean we’ll see Bernadette wearing stripes, doing time à la Martha?
Don’t count on it.
Back in June 2001 the Beeb reported that Jacques was facing an official probe into why he paid 2.4m French francs (£240,000, over $400,000) handed over in brown envelopes to a Paris travel agency, including trips to Japan, and nothing came of that.
I wonder if Bernadette approved of the frequent Japan trips, though.
Tales of the Stupid ponders the French budget.