French Interior Minister fined over racism case

10:39, June 05, 2010      

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The Paris court decided Friday to fine French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux 750 euros (897 U.S. dollars) over his racism comment about a young man last year.

The court also ordered Hortefeux to pay 2,000 euros in damage to MRAP, an anti-racism group that filed against the minister.

According to local reports, the minister referred one young man to his Arab origin last September when joking with a group of activities from the ruling UMP party.

The footage of the video circulated on the internet aroused controversy and criticism against the minister despite the defend by the young man himself.

The court didn't make criminal conviction but sentenced him of racial insult, the lesser offense, the AFP reported.

Hortefeux's lawyer said the minister would appeal against the ruling immediately.

Regarded as close ally to French President Sarkozy, Hortefeux has borne bitter criticism from the opposition party after the publication of the video. He has been France's immigration minister from 2007-2009.

Source: Xinhua


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