The Correctional Court in Tours fined Michel Champigny, the mayor of Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine, for a joke he made in front of hundreds of people at a political rally on April 4th of last year, Europe 1 reports.
During the rally, which was held in support of right-wing presidential candidate François Fillon, Champigny told a joke about Arabs which equated them to thieves. A few days later, he was sued by the Movement Against Racism and for Friendship Among People (MRAP).
In delivering their verdict, the judges found the 61 year old mayor guilty of inciting racial hatred against Arabs. On Thursday, Champigny was ordered by the Court to pay the 1,500 euro fine, as well as 1,000 euros in damages to the MRAP.
At the hearing, the mayor said he “deeply regrets having shocked people” by telling the joke he had heard in a taxi, which he claims he had told in order to ”warm the room”.
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