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Minister convicted of racist slur

Interior Minister fined €750 for comments made about a young Arab party supporter caught on camera last summer

INTERIOR minister Brice Hortefeux has said he will appeal against a conviction for making racist remarks to an Arab youth during a political summit last autumn.

A video clip of Mr Hortefeux’s quip to UMP party worker Amine Benalia-Brouch in Seignosse, Landes, was widely circulated online last September and provoked complaints from anti-racism groups.

The tribunal correctionel in Paris has ordered Mr Hortefeux to pay a €750 fine and a further €2,000 in damages to anti-racist group MRAP.

The former immigration minister is introduced to Mr Benalia-Brouch as “our little Arab”. He can then be heard saying: “When there's one, that's OK. It's when there are a lot of them that there are problems.”

He insisted he was not talking about Mr Benalia-Brouch’s Arab origins – his father is Algerian – but about his origins from the Auvergne region.

Related stories:
Hortefeux faces race slur charges


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