France's Le Pen faces charges for Holocaust comments

7th May 2008, Comments 0 comments

Court is looking into racism comments made by far-right party leader which play down the Holocaust.

7 May 2008

PARIS - French prosecutors launched a judicial investigation against far-right party leader Jean-Marie Le Pen for racism over comments he made appearing to play down the Jewish Holocaust, a court said.

A court source said a preliminary inquiry had been launched over "racial and religious discrimination" by Le Pen for saying that the Nazis' killing of Jews in gas chambers was a mere "detail" of World War II.

"I said that the gas chambers were a detail of the history of the Second World War. That seems to me quite clear," Le Pen said on a documentary aired last month, referring to a conviction in 1987 for similar comments, for which was heavily fined.

In the new case, brought by a Jewish group and an anti-racism organisation, he now faces charges of "disputing a crime against humanity and incitement to racial hatred," the court source said Tuesday.

Questioned on the programme about the wartime deportation of Jews to Nazi death camps, Le Pen said: "That's what you believe. I don't feel obliged to share that view."

He later said he had asked the documentary makers not to air those comments.

[AFP / Expatica]

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