French court fines far-right head for racism, discrimination
French appeals court Wednesday fined far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen Wednesday for inciting discrimination, hatred or racial violence.
PARIS, March 13, 2008 - A French appeals court Wednesday fined
far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen Wednesday for inciting discrimination,
hatred or racial violence for anti-Muslim remarks he made five years ago.
The pugnacious National Front party leader was ordered to pay 10,000 euros
(15,500 dollars) in fines and another 5,000 euros in damages and interest to
plaintiff the French League of Human Rights, after a lower court originally
dismissed the case against him.
In a 2003 interview with France's leading Le Monde newspaper, Le Pen
suggested that Muslims would eventually take over France, and indigenous
French "will go on their streets and lower their eyes."
He later toughened his claims and it was his later remarks that were the
subject to Wednesday's court sanctions.
The 79-year-old Le Pen, who finished second in 2002 presidential elections,
has more recently seen his fortunes decline.
In January, he announced he was selling his party's headquarters near Paris
in the face of a serious financial crisis.