Paris: A hard-right polemicist and likely French presidential candidate, Eric Zemmour, skipped a lawsuit inciting anger on Wednesday and said he cared about unaccompanied migrant children as “racists.”
A 63-year-old ardent critic of immigration and Islam will face up to a year in prison and a fine of € 45,000 ($ 70,200) if convicted of “public insult” and “incitement to hatred or violence” because of his ethnic, national, racial or religious origin. In theory, he could be barred from running for office, although this is considered unlikely.
The verdict will be given later.
Zemmour, who, according to opinion polls, could get into the second round of the presidential election next year, claimed the campaign was “scaring me” but “they won’t shut me down”.
“Today, the judiciary is chasing me under deadly laws because I have criticized people who, in their own words, are‘ to rob France, ’” he said in a statement.
A firefighter known as Le Z said he would not show up because he refused to “allow a political debate to take place in the courtroom.” The trial focuses on his comments last year on the right-wing CNews news channel about unaccompanied children moving to France.
“They’re thieves, they’re murderers, they’re rapists. We have to send them back,” he said.
His outbreak occurred days after a 25-year-old Pakistani man attacked two people with a meat cutter in a former office. Charlie Hebdo when they arrived in France with false papers and applied for asylum as an unaccompanied minor.