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France

French court condemns Jean-Marie Le Pen for anti-gay remarks

media A French court ordered Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of the National Front (now National Rally), to pay thousands of euros over remarks against homosexuals on 28 November 2018. AFP/Geoffroy Hasselt

French judges have ordered far-right politician Jean-Marie Le Pen to pay thousands of euros in damages for remarks about homosexuals, including a verbal attack on  a police officer killed in a terror attack in 2017.

Le Pen, who founded the far-right National Front, which was renamed National Rally (RN) under the presidency of his daughter Marine in 2018, was condemned on three counts of public insult and one count of incitement to hate or violence.

In a March 2016 blog video, Le Pen said there was a link between “the exaltation of homosexuality” and paedophilia.

In December 2016, asked by a journalist about homosexuals in the party he cofounded, he said “it’s like salt with soup: if there is not enough, it’s too bland, and if it’s too much, it’s undrinkable”.

Judges decided the qualification of incitement to hate applied in this remark.

For each remark Le Pen was condemned to pay 10 euros per day for 40 days with the possibility of imprisonment in case of non-payment.

He was also ordered to pay 2000 euros in damages and interests to anti-discrimination group Mousse and an additional 2000 euros in fees.

The politician was also judged for comments about Xavier Jugelé, a police officer killed during a terror attack on the Champs-Elysées Avenue in Paris.

“I think this particularity of his family has to be separated from this sort of ceremony,” remarked Le Pen on the fact that Jugelé’s male companion spoke at a state tribute to the fallen officer.

For those remarks, Le Pen was given a second fine of 10 euros per day for 40 days, 5,000 euros in damages and interest to Jugelé’s widow, and 2000 euros in fees.

Le Pen indicated through his lawyer that he would appeal the rulings.

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