Former French President Chirac rubbishes reports he is suffering from Alzheimers

Paris, Feb 1 (ANI): Former French President Jacques Chirac, who faces trials over corruption, has denied reports that he is suffering from Alzheimers.

The weekly Journal du Dimanche had earlier quoted a friend of Chirac as saying that he is facing memory loss problems, and added that his wife Bernadette feared he had Alzheimers, The Telegraph reports.

Chirac, however, rubbished the claims saying: "Do I give the impression of not being well? I'm in very good shape thank you! I hope you're in as good a shape (as me)."

The journal had also claimed that Chirac recently wanted to confirm what post François Fillon, the Prime Minister of France, was holding in the government. It also cited another instance in which Chirac shouted at a theatre in Paris saying, "What the hell am I doing here?"

Meanwhile, Chirac's wife has said that the reports have "scandalised" her.

"It is a lie. I cannot accept the insinuation. The doctors said he didn't have Alzheimer's and I believe them. He has difficulties walking at times, and hearing. He sometimes has memory lapses and can display a kind of impatience, even if unfortunately in my regard that's nothing new," the paper quoted his wife, as saying.

"He has always said that he wanted to be treated as a person liable to trial like any other. He said he would go to his trial and he will," she added.

Chirac faces charges arising from two investigations over allegations that public funds were used to pay ghost worker salaries to his Gaullist political allies when he was mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995, the paper said.

This is the first time after 1940s that any French President would stand trial.

His lawyers are speculated to use his mental status to asked for the case to be dropped. Yesterday they sought to delay the trial at a procedural meeting with judges, but the court ruled it would deal with the matter during the trial on March 7.

If he is convicted, Chirac could face a ten-year prison sentence and a 150,000-euro fine. (ANI)

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