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France's far-right Front National suspends former candidate for Oslo massacre remarks

media A child places a flower on a memorial to Breivik's victims in Oslo Reuters/Cathal McNaughton

A member of France's far-right Front National party has been suspended after making remarks on his blog interpreted as a defence of Norwegian mass murderer Ander Breivik.

Party management says Jacques Coutela has been suspended until he is judged by an arbitration panel.

The Front National took action after an anti-racist campaign initiated proceedings against him for incitement to racial hatred over an article on the killings headlined “The suitcase or death” which carried his byline.

Coutela, who stood as a party candidate in the western region of l’Yonne in local elections earlier this year, says he did not write the comments, which described Breivik as "an icon", "a resistance fighter" and a "defender of the West".

Another party member, Laurent Ozon, says that no disciplinary action has been taken against him after the Socialist Party’s youth section complained that he had sent twitter messages claiming that immigration rates “explain” the massacre.

Party leader Marine le Pen on Sunday threatened to sue groups or individuals claiming that its anti-immigrant rhetoric bore some responsibility for far-right violence.

Breivik’s killing spree has embarrassed many European far-right politicians, leading them to condemn the violence, while not backing down on claims that the continent is threatened by “Islamisation”.

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