Jean-Marie Le Pen on trial over Nazi denials

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Jean-Marie Le Pen, the French far-Right leader, has gone on trial for allegedly describing the Nazi occupation of France as "not especially inhumane" - the latest act in a humiliating coda to his controversial career.

The leader of the Front National party is due to face charges of conspiring to justify war crimes and to deny Nazi crimes against humanity, both violations of France's Holocaust denial legislation. He faces a maximum one-year prison term, a £32,000 fine and a possible ban from holding elected office.

The case centres on an interview he gave to the far-Right paper Rivarol in 2005, in which he was quoted as saying: "In France at least, the German occupation was not especially inhumane, even if there were a number of excesses - inevitable in a country of 550,000 sq km (220,000 sq miles).

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