French court convicts man over synagogue attack

January 31, 2009 17:34

A court in northern France has sentenced a young neo-Nazi skinhead to six months in prison for scrawling a swastika and anti-Semitic graffiti on a synagogue, a judicial official said. The conviction in Lille is believed to be among the first related to an upsurge of anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim attacks in France that authorities say was prompted by the three-week war in the Gaza Strip. The defendant, who was not identified, was convicted Thursday and sentenced to a one-year prison term, six months of which were suspended, the official said late Friday on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak publicly about the case. The man was arrested with three other suspects Wednesday in the northern city and nearby areas in connection with a Jan. 13 attack involving the graffiti and a broken window at the Lille synagogue.

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