Former French President Jacques Chirac has been found guilty of embezzling funds and got a two-year suspended prison sentence for diverting public funds and abusing public confidence, local media reported Thursday.
The 79-year-old former French head of state was put on trial on charges that dated back to his time as mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995. The trial made him the first former French president facing charges in French court.
He was accused of creating jobs at Paris City Hall for friends and political allies that did not exist, using his power first to win control of the French right and then to make his bid for the presidency.
Nine other individuals also face charges in the affair.
Chirac did not show up in court to hear the verdict because of his unfavorable health conditions.
As French president from 1995 to 2007, Chirac is now still a hugely popular figure in France.