Man arrested for racial jibe against Sarkozy's son

8th August 2008, Comments 0 comments

A vandal who scrawled 'Sarkozy, Jewish thieves' on a courthouse in the area of Paris governed by Sarkozy's son has been arrested.

8 August 2008

NEUILLY-SUR-SEINE - French police arrested a man for allegedly scrawling "Sarkozy, Jewish thieves" on a courthouse in the latest slur directed at the French president's son, a newspaper reported Thursday.

Jean Sarkozy, the 21-year-old son of President Nicolas Sarkozy, discovered the graffiti on the walls of the building in the Paris suburb where he is an elected official, daily Le Parisien said on its website Thursday.

The young councillor of Neilly-sur-Seine reported the graffiti to police after finding it Wednesday night.

The suspect in the case is a 63-year-old man who had already made anti-Semitic remarks to shopkeepers in the wealthy suburb.

Police declined to provide additional information on the arrest.

The racial slur appears to have been be sparked by Jean Sarkozy's engagement to a Jewish heiress.

In July, a French newspaper satirist lost his job for writing a biting column on the engagement in what subsequently caused a debate over freedom of speech in French media.

The veteran cartoonist and anarchist writer, whose goes by the pen name Sine, wrote in the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo that Sarkozy junior "has just said he intends to convert to Judaism before marrying his fiancée, who is Jewish, and the heiress to the founders of Darty," a French retail giant.

"He'll go far, that kid," he wrote.

Charlie Hebdo editor Philippe Val said Sine was sacked for remarks that "could be interpreted as drawing a link between conversion to Judaism and social success", relaying the old stereotype linking Jews and money.

Aides to Jean Sarkozy, who has Jewish roots through his paternal grandmother, deny he has any plan to convert to Judaism when he marries his fiancée, Jessica Sibaoun-Darty.

[AFP / Expatica]

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