French Court Acquits Jean-Marie Le Pen in Antisemitism Case Over Oven Quip

© AFP 2022 / Joel SagetFrance's far-right Front National (FN) party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen poses in Saint-Cloud, west of Paris, on January 27, 2016.
France's far-right Front National (FN) party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen poses in Saint-Cloud, west of Paris, on January 27, 2016.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.10.2021
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PARIS (Sputnik) - A French court cleared Jean-Marie Le Pen of incitement to racial hatred charges on Friday, seven years after the founder of the National Front party made an oven joke about a Jewish celebrity, media said.
The court confirmed that the 93-year-old’s comment invoked the image of cremation furnaces used in the systematic extermination of Jews in Europe but concluded that he intended to make a "witty remark," rather than incite discrimination or violence, the BFMTV reported.
The case stems from a 2014 video in which Le Pen, who was a member of the European Parliament at the time, commented on criticism of his party by a number of celebrities, including Madonna and singer Patrick Bruel, with "We'll do an oven batch next time!"
Le Pen’s daughter Marine, the leader of then-National Front, called his comment a "political mistake" and expelled him in 2015 in an effort to move France’s largest hard-right party away from the fringe. He was also fined 30,000 euros (approximately $34,600) in 2016 for dismissing Nazi gas chambers as a "detail" of history.
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