Chirac refuses to be questioned in smear scandal

Former French President Jacques Chirac is refusing to be questioned in an investigation into an apparent smear scandal during his tenure as president, his office said Friday. Chirac was constitutionally guaranteed judicial immunity while he was in office, and therefore "cannot be ordered to provide testimony" in the investigation into the so-called Clearstream affair, his office said in a statement. The scandal centered on damaging but false allegations that current President Nicolas Sarkozy had secret bank accounts.