French conservative politician heavily fined for ‘incitement of hatred’
French conservative politcian, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan has been fined heavily for incitement of hatred or discrimination, Agence France-Presse reported.
Published: April 7, 2018, 6:11 am
The prosecutor’s office in Paris has requested a suspended fine of €5 000 against Dupont-Aignan for having used the term a “migratory invasion” in a tweet in 2017.
The prosecutor’s office in Paris on Wednesday ordered the fine against the president of Debout La France, who was tried for “incitement of hatred” or “discrimination” because he tweeted “migratory invasion”.
On January 17, 2017, the MP for the Essonne, then a candidate for the presidential election, tweeted the following words: “In 2016 the socialists compensated for the decline in birth rate by the migratory invasion. The Population Replacement is now!”
En 2016, les socialistes compensent la baisse de natalité par l'invasion migratoire. Le changement de population, c'est maintenant !
— N. Dupont-Aignan (@dupontaignan) January 17, 2017
The prosecution began the process after a report by the International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism (Licra).
Marine Le Pen on Thursday, defended her former ally in the presidential race.
The President of the National Front said: “It is unacceptable that the prosecution, that is to say, those in power, attack the freedom of expression of a representative of the people.”
Nicolas Dupont-Aignan was not present to face the 17th chamber of the Criminal Court. His lawyers have asserted his parliamentary immunity, which, according to the prosecution and Licra, cannot enable him to escape prosecution in this particular case.
“We have a leading politician, an official candidate for the presidential election, who quietly repeats, publicly, of his own accord, a conspiracy and racist theory born from the bowels of the French far right at the beginning of the previous decade”, alluding to the thesis of the “Great Replacement” coined by author Renaud Camus, the prosecutor declared.
“By not condemning him would mean to permit opening wide the floodgates of uninhibited racist speech,” he added, “singling out all those who don’t belong to the national community”, including migrants and immigrants, the prosecutor said.
He requested a €5 000 suspended fine, against the MP, “a first and, I hope, last warning”.
For their part, lawyers for Nicolas Dupont-Aignan argued that the “truth” of his remarks was targeting the Socialist Party rather than immigration.
It was a parody of the slogan of former President François Hollande’s “Change is now,” explained lawyer Philippe Prigent, and “the purpose of this tweet is to call people not to vote for the Socialist candidate, that’s all.”
“For once” when a politician “is telling the truth, we might not want to punish him,” Prigent remarked.
Dupont-Aignan reacted to the prosecution’s submissions, saying that this decision is proof that France is no longer a Republic.
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