French court convicts 3 Jewish cemetery vandals

September 12, 2007 23:12

A court in eastern France on Wednesday convicted three men of painting swastikas on headstones at a Jewish cemetery and ordered the ringleader to spend 30 months behind bars. The men were convicted of vandalizing 117 graves in Herrlisheim, near France's border with Germany. Some headstones bore graffiti reading "juden raus," or "jews out." The court in the city of Colmar ordered Laurent Boulanger to spend 18 months in jail and Laurent Peterschmitt to spend 12 months in prison, with six months suspended. Emmanuel Rist, the ringleader, was given a 30-month sentence. Rist and Boulanger were also convicted of profaning the grave of a Muslim war veteran in another cemetery. While in prison, Rist will stand trial for the 2001 murder of a Moroccan rug salesman and for the attempted murder of a Moroccan retiree in 2005. Boulanger will also face trial in the second case.

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