Paris court fines comic for anti-Jewish incitement

A Paris court fined an outspoken French comic Friday €5,000 (US$5,960) for inciting racial hatred with comments comparing Jews to slave traders. Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, who wants to run for president next year, has faced several legal challenges for his sketches, which often draw as much criticism as laughter. This case stemmed from an interview in February 2004 with the Journal du Dimanche newspaper, in which the comic, known commonly in France by his first name, criticized people who insult him during his shows. "Those who attack me founded their empires and fortunes on the trade in blacks and slavery," he said. The Paris court accused him of attacking Jews "under cover of stigmatizing his detractors." In addition to the fine, the court ordered Dieudonne to pay a symbolic one euro (US$1.19) in damages to five Jewish and anti-racism groups.