Dieudonne was arrested on January 14 after writing “I feel like Charlie Coulibaly” on Facebook, a mix of the slogan “Je suis Charlie” that became a global rallying cry against extremism and Amedy Coulibaly, one of the assailants who killed a policewoman and four Jews.
His arrest was one of dozens of cases opened for “condoning terrorism” or “making threats to carry out terrorist acts” after the attackers killed 17 people in the January 7-9 shooting spree that also targeted satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
This wasn’t Dieudonne’s first brush with controversy. Earlier, he had gained infamy, most notably for his trademark “quenelle” hand gesture that looks like an inverted Nazi salute, but which he insists is merely anti-establishment.
The prosecutor had called for a fine of 30,000 euros, which if he fails to pay up could turn into a prison sentence.
During the trial, prosecutor Annabelle Philippe said Dieudonne had presented “in a favourable light the acts committed by Amedy Coulibaly.”
But Dieudonne said he “condemned the attacks without any restraint and without any ambiguity.”