French comedian fined for anti-Jewish statement

PARIS (AP) - A Paris court fined an outspoken French comedian $6,000 Friday for inciting racial hatred with comments that compared Jews to slave traders. Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, who has said he wanted to run for president next year, had lashed out at critics who "founded their empires and fortunes on the trade in blacks and slavery." The suit against Dieudonne involved statements in an interview he gave to Journal du Dimanche in February 2004. Prosecutors accused him of attacking Jews "under cover of stigmatizing his detractors." The case came amid renewed concerns about anti-Semitism in France after last month's kidnapping and killing of Ilan Halimi, a young Jewish man, and attacks outside a Paris synagogue. In September, Dieudonne was acquitted of a similar charge. That suit was brought against him for dressing up as an Orthodox Jew and giving a Nazi salute.