Paris court to try comedian for anti-Semitism


PARIS (JTA) — A controversial French comedian will be prosecuted on charges of anti-Semitism.

Dieudonne Mbala Mbala will go on trial May 5 in Paris for bestowing a bogus prize on a notorious Holocaust denier, Robert Faurisson, in a Dec. 2 performance for an audience of 5,000 near Paris, according to French reports.

If convicted, the 42-year-old comedian faces a maximum fine of nearly $30,000, the French news agency AFP reported Wednesday.

Dieudonne, as he is known, has been barred from performing in most French cities since the December stand-up routine in which an actor dressed as a Jewish Nazi camp prisoner awarded Faurisson a prize for “unrespectability and insolence.”

Jean-Marie Le Pen, the leader of the far-right National Front political party who recently called Nazi gas chambers a historical “detail,” sat among thousands of spectators who cheered and laughed when Faurisson made his surprise stage debut alongside Dieudonne.

Dieudonne recently announced his intention to run for election to the European Parliament on an “anti-Zionist” ticket that groups together supporters from far left and far right political parties. The election is scheduled for June 7.

Dieudonne, who is black, has been condemned and charged with racism and anti-Semitism in the past for remarks comparing Jews to “slave traders” and belittling the importance of the Holocaust.

Recommended from JTA