French comedian Dieudonne to be tried over anti-Semitic remark

Ben Sales

(JTA) — French comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala will stand trial for saying that a Jewish journalist should have died “in the gas chambers.”

Known as Dieudonné, the comedian was filmed with a hidden camera in 2013 making the comment about French journalist Patrick Cohen, according to the New York Times. The footage, which was broadcast on French television, led the French government to investigate Dieudonné and ban his show.

His trial begins Wednesday. If Dieudonné is found guilty of violating France’s laws banning racist speech, he faces a fine of up to $45,000 and one year in prison. He has been charged almost 40 times under hate-speech laws.

Dieudonné stirred up controversy recently by posting comments on social media sympathizing with Amedy Coulibaly, who killed four Jews at a Paris-area kosher supermarket in early January.