Jacques Chirac is on trial today on accusations that he abused his position when mayor of Paris to reward party loyalists. Chirac held the position of Mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995. He became President in 1995, and remained in office until 2007.
The last French leader to stand trial was Philippe Pétain, leader of Vichy France. He was convicted of treason and sentenced to life in prison. Chirac is likely to have a much better fate.
Though France has in recent years found high ranking government officials guilty of corruption, the sentences have been light, typically probation and a short ban on holding public office.