Depardieu not to attend Paris court hearing
In November, Depardieu was detained by traffic police after falling off his scooter a southern district of Paris. The amount of alcohol in his blood exceeded the allowed limit.
Actor Gerard Depardieu is expected to appear before a French court today, charged with drink-driving. He was arrested in November after a scooter accident in Paris, in which he was found to be three times over the alcohol limit.
The actor pleaded guilty to the charge of drink-driving, which carries a maximum fine of 4,500 euros and a sentence of up to two years in prison.
Meanwhile, Depardieu is staying in Switzerland. Last month, he announced his decision to move to Belgium to avoid the French government's plan for a top tax rate of 75%.
He became a Russian citizen at the weekend, receiving a Russian passport from President Putin.
Voice of Russia, Interfax, BBC, Euronews
French actor Gerard Depardieu who has just been handed his new Russian passport visited the city of Saransk in central Russia.
Earlier,Depardieu met President Putin in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi.
The actor showed his new passport to reporters and fans right at the airport where he was met with traditional Russian greetings.
Then Depardieu visited local places of interest, including a monument to Yemelyan Pugachov, the leader of the Cossack Rebellion back in the 18th century. Playing Pugachov is on Depardieu’s acting wish list.
The actor was seeking Russian citizenship after the French government decided to impose higher taxes on the rich.
French actor Gerard Depardieu has met President Vladimir Putin and has been handed his new Russian passport.
The actor had announced he was seeking Russian citizenship after the French government criticised his decision to move abroad to avoid higher taxes.
Mr Depardieu met Mr Putin in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi.
Mr Depardieu was then given his new passport, although the president's spokesman said Mr Putin did not hand it over personally.
Mr Depardieu and Mr Putin shook hands and hugged each other at the meeting in Sochi.
Earlier this week, Mr Putin signed the decree granting Russian citizenship to Mr Depardieu.
The actor responded by writing an open letter saying: "I love your country, Russia - its people, its history, its writers. I love your culture, your intelligence."
Mr Depardieu went on to describe Russia as "a great democracy, and not a country where the prime minister calls one of its citizens shabby".
Russian President Vladimir Putin has welcomed French actor Gerard Depardieu in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi to hand him a Russian passport, Putin`s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media.
He added that
The actor announced he was seeking Russian citizenship after the French government criticized his decision to move abroad to avoid 75% taxes.
Depardieu did not change his mind even after the tax decision was cancelled.
Voice of Russia, RIA, BBC, TASS