Former French Minister Wins Racism Appeal

Posted September 15th, 2011 at 11:10 am (UTC-5)
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A French appeals court has overturned the racism conviction of former French interior minister Brice Hortefeux, a close political ally of President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The Paris court reversed the ruling Thursday, acquitting him of the charges.

Hortefeux, who at the time was France's top law enforcement official, was caught on camera in 2009 making what sounded like anti-Arab remarks while talking to a young man of North African descent.

A video of the incident went viral and became an embarrassment to the government. Hortefeux insisted his remarks were innocent and had been misinterpreted, but he was convicted and fined last year for making “private insults of a racial nature.” He was ousted from the government in February, but is expected to work on Mr. Sarkozy's re-election campaign next year.