Court to rule in French Muhammad cartoon case

A French court was expected to rule Thursday on a court case brought by French Muslims against a satirical newspaper that printed caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. Charlie-Hebdo, a weekly, and its director, Philippe Val, are charged with "publicly abusing a group of people because of their religion." Val risks a six-month prison sentence and a fine of up to US$29,250. At the trial in February, the defense read a letter of support from Interior Minister and presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy, who said he preferred "an excess of caricatures to an absence of caricatures." A state attorney has called for the dismissal of the case, saying the cartoons denounced terrorists' use of the Muslim faith but did not damage Islam.