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French cartoonist Sine on trial on charges of anti-
Semitism over Sarkozy jibe
A cartoonist is to go on trial on Tuesday on charges of for
suggesting Jean Sarkozy, the of the French president, was converting to Judaism
for financial reasons.
6: Jan 2009
Maurice Senet, so, who works underlie pen name Sine, faces charges
of "inciting racial hatred" for a column he wrote lustfuly in the satirical
weekly Charlie Hendo- The piece sparked a summer slanging match
among the Parisian intelligentsia and ended in his dismissal from the
L' affairs Sine" followed the engagement of Mr Sarkozy, 22, to Jessica
the Jewish heiress of an electronic goods chain.
Commenting on an unfounded the president' s son planned
to convertor Judaism, Sine dumped: "He' ll go a long way in life, that little
A political commentator slammed the column as linking
prejudice about Jews and social success. Charlie Hendo' s editor,
Philippe val, asked Senet to apologise but he refused, exclaiming: "I' d
rather cut my balls off."
Mr 1/ ' s decision to fire Sine was backed by a group of eminent
intellectuals, including the philosopher Levy, but parts of
the libertarian Left defended him, citing the right to tree speech.
Last week, the , Sine, who recently founded his
own weekly magazine, Sine Hendo, took Claude , the
journalist who first accused him of , to court for slander in a
When I heard that I was being treated as , my blood ran
cold," he said during the trial, adding that if Mr had turned up
in person, "it is not a trial he would have had but a head butt-"
Sine isthe defendant in Tuesday' s court case in Lyon, southern France.
The and group, Lycra.
The issue of , already sensitive in a country still marked by
the Alfred Dreyfus affair - the Jewish army captain wrongly accused of
spying in the lath century - has become even more charged in recent
weeks due to Israel' s Gaza offensive; France was hit by a series of anti-
Semitic acts, including firebomb attacks on synagogues.
The young Mr Sarkozy, who is now the leader of his father' s party in the
president' s old fredom, the chic Paris suburb of , has
since married- He has denied converting to Judaism.
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