Zemmour Convicted of Spurring Racial Hatred With TV Remarks
(Bloomberg) -- Eric Zemmour, a far-right presidential election hopeful, was convicted by a French court for spurring racial hatred after making remarks on TV about unaccompanied minors living in France who’ve come from abroad.
The Paris criminal court issued a 10,000-euro ($11,400) fine for Zemmour, who has made a name for himself along the years with provocative remarks and an anti-immigration stance.
Judge Delphine Cauchis also ordered Zemmour to pay a further 10,001 euros in damages to various anti-racism or human-rights organizations and cover their legal fees in this case to the tune of 9,000 euros.
It’s not the first sanction for inciting hatred for the firebrand Zemmour but that hasn’t deterred his staunchest supporters. Still, after a surprise rise in the polls when Zemmour declared his candidacy in November, support for the former journalist has been dwindling in the past few weeks.
Recent polls have him at around 12% of voting intentions in the first round of the presidential election, trailing his closest rival Marine Le Pen and traditional right-wing candidate Valerie Pecresse, meaning he wouldn’t make it to the runoff. President Emmanuel Macron consistently remains around the 25% mark in the first round.
In Monday’s court case, the disputed remarks were made in September 2020 on CNews, a French TV station owned by billionaire Vincent Bollore.
In a tweet after the ruling was read out, Zemmour said he would appeal his conviction and criticized the judiciary for restricting freedom of expression and democratic debate.
“It’s urgent to drive out ideology from the courts,” he said.
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