French presidential candidate and National Front leader Marine Le Pen’s father Jean-Marie Le Pen has been found guilty of contesting crimes against humanity, the Guardian reports.The decision confirmed an earlier decision by a lower court. The punishment includes a 10,000 euro fine and a suspended jail sentence.
Jean-Marie had told a far right magazine in 2005:
“in France at least the German occupation was not particularly inhumane, even if there were a number of excesses – inevitable in a country of 550,000 sq km.”
The Telegraph reports that the Jean-Marie, the founder of the National Front in 1972, plans to take his appeal to France’s Court of Cassation.
Supporters of Jean-Marie has criticised both the decision and its timing. Marine Le Pen is currently running third in opinion polls for elections in 6 weeks time and is thought to be taking a large chunk of incumbent right wing leader Nicolas Sarkozy’s vote.
The National Front have expressed doubts that they will be able to attract enough signature of elected officials to compete.
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