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October 2007


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Hate speech against a community of belief on television two well-known Paris personalities sentenced

On 9 May 2007, the Appellate Court of Paris (11th Chamber, Section A) condemned Mr. Bernard Kouchner (*), France's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs since 18 May 2007, and Marc Tessier, publishing manager of TV Channel France 2, to pay together 1,500 EUR to Mr. Marcel Terrusse, and 2,000 EUR for the court expenses on the ground of "public insult." (Ref.: File Nr 06/04791)

On 6 January 2003, during the TV program "Mots Croisés" devoted to human cloning, Mr. Bernard Kouchner used the words "sales cons" (bloody idiots) to qualify the Raelians and said about Mr. Marcel Terrusse who had been invited as the spokesperson of this community of belief: "ce type est un dangereux salaud" (this guy is a dangerous bastard).

Marc Tessier was sentenced on the ground that he failed to remove these insults from the program which had been recorded several hours before being broadcast.

A first court judgment by the Court of Grand Instance of Paris (17th Chamber) on 11 March 2004 had provided for a sentence of 1000 EUR. A second decision by the Paris Appellate Court (11th Chamber, Section B) on 21 April 2005 was challenged in cassation. On 10 May, the Court of Cassation broke and annulled a part of the 2005 ruling.

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