A French court has postponed the trial of a former French budget minister accused of tax fraud and money laundering until September, to give higher courts time to decide a legal issue raised by his lawyers.

The much-awaited trial of Jerome Cahuzac, a one-time champion in the fight against tax evasion, started Monday but was adjourned Wednesday before any debate could be held on the fraud case itself.

On the opening day, his lawyers argued a defendant shouldn't be under both a criminal and a tax procedure at the same time.

Cahuzac has already paid back-taxes and heavy penalties to the French tax authorities, and now faces up to seven years in prison and a 1 million-euro fine if he is convicted of tax fraud by the criminal court.