A court in France acquitted anti-Semitic French comedian Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala of charges over a video in which he called for the release of a man who tortured and murdered a French Jew in 2006.
The court held that it could not prove Dieudonne was behind the publication of the video, according to the BBC. The accused had faced a fine of 20,000 euros (approximately NIS 95,910) or 200 days in jail.
In other troubles, Dieudonne was banned from the UK earlier this week after stating his intention to travel there to support a soccer star who performed a quenelle salute during a match.
The UK Home Office announced on Monday afternoon that Dieudonne, who is now facing an eighth trial for inciting hatred against Jews, was an “excluded” individual who would not be allowed into Britain.
Warnings were sent to airlines, transport companies and border officials that Dieudonne was a persona non grata.
Dieudonne is the originator of the quenelle, the increasingly popular gesture in France and Europe that has been called anti-Semitic and a quasi-Nazi salute
The comedian planned to travel to the UK to show support for his friend, West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka, a French national and convert to Islam who is facing a disciplinary hearing after performing a quenelle during a Premier League game.
“We can confirm that Mr Dieudonne is subject to an exclusion order. The home secretary will seek to exclude an individual from the UK if she considers that there are public policy or public security reasons to do so,” the Home Office said in a statement Monday.
Dieudonne has several convictions for inciting anti-Semitism. He is currently under investigation for alleged money-laundering and fraudulent organization of his own bankruptcy, according to The Independent. He has also failed to pay several thousand euros in fines for anti-Semitic remarks.
Dieudonne is now facing an eighth trial for inciting hatred against Jews by suggesting during a show that the French Jewish journalist Patrick Cohen belonged in a gas chamber.
The quenelle, described by French Interior Minister Manuel Valls as “an inverted Nazi salute,” involves placing one’s outstretched left palm on one’s right shoulder while pointing downward with one’s right arm.
Like the Nazi salute, the quenelle is seen as a variant of the Roman salute and, considering its inventor’s penchant for defiance of France’s anti-Nazi laws, is understood to challenge the prohibition on performing the Nazi salute.
Last month, a French court banned Dieudonne from performing in Nantes in what was to be the debut of his new show, “The Wall.” His shows were banned by mayors in Marseille, Bordeaux and Tours as well.
JTA and the Associated Press contributed to this report
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