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France

French rapper sentenced for blocking motorway

media A screenshot from the Sofiane video Sofiane -Toka [Clip officiel]

French rap star Sofiane received a four-month suspended jail sentence on Monday for blocking a motorway near Paris last year to film the video for his hit song "Toka".

Watched 32 million times on YouTube, the clip shows Sofiane Zermani and friends bring traffic to a standstill on the four-lane A3 motorway, then set up a restaurant table and chairs on the road before starting dancing.

After being charged with a public order offence, prosecutors urged a three-month prison term, accusing Sofiane of organising the April 2017 motorway stunt and another unauthorised video shoot in public to generate publicity.

Sentencing him on Tuesday, a judge opted instead for a suspended prison sentence, meaning he will serve time in prison if he re-offends, adding: "Don't do it again."

"I've learned my lesson," Zermani replied. He was also fined 1,500 euros ($1,860).

On December 15, the 34-year-old from the Seine-Saint-Denis suburb of Paris, who is also known as Fiansa, was arrested again during an unauthorised shoot in the area.

 
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