French comedian Dieudonne arrested for assaulting bailiffs

Comedian allegedly assaults court officers who came to his home with notices for payment due on fines for inciting hatred against Jews.

French comedian Dieudonne. (photo credit: REUTERS)
French comedian Dieudonne.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, the comedian whose show was banned by a top French court, was arrested this week for allegedly assaulting court officers who came to his home with notices for payment due on fines for inciting hatred against Jews.
Dieudonne was taken into custody on Wednesday for several hours. Questioned initially on Tuesday, along with his girlfriend Noemi Montagne, he spent much of Wednesday in police custody before being released in the evening, said his attorney Sanjay Mirabeau.
The assault itself allegedly occurred on Monday night at the comic’s home in central France, when bailiffs came to collect fines he owes the state – thousands of euros that remain unpaid for racism offenses including racial discrimination and hate speech.
According to the attorney, the bailiffs tried to enter the property by climbing over a fence, but “Dieudonne’s partner and their security staff asked them to leave.”
According to sources close to the investigation, one of the bailiffs said he was assaulted by Dieudonne and targeted with rubber bullets.
They added that a bullet- launching device was later discovered during a search of his home.
The bailiffs had said they couldn’t ascertain who had opened fire.
Dieudonne and Montagne have filed their own complaint, accusing the bailiffs of breaking into their home, reported France 24.
“Dieudonne wants to be left alone, or at least to be treated in a normal manner – that is to say, for the bailiffs to turn up at his house during regular hours,” Dieudonne’s attorney told the channel.
French media reported that Dieudonne denies being at the property at the time of the alleged incident.
Aged 47, born to a French mother and a father from Cameroon, Dieudonne – after breaking with his longtime stage partner, Elie Semoun, a Jew – adopted strong anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist language.
This month his show The Wall was banned on the opening night of its tour.