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World News

French vegan convicted for comments on butcher killed by Islamist militant

FILE PHOTO: A general view shows gendarmes and police officers at a supermarket after a hostage situation in Trebes, France, March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - A vegan in France who posted a Facebook message offering “zero sympathy” for a butcher killed by an Islamist militant during an attack last week was handed a seven-month suspended prison sentence for the remarks on Thursday, a judicial source said.

The vegan went before a judge on a charge of condoning terrorism two days after a left-wing activist received a one-year suspended sentence for hailing the death of another victim of the same attack, gendarme Arnaud Beltrame.

The charge carried a maximum jail sentence of five years and a fine of 75,000 euros ($92,000).

France’s butchers federation said it had filed the legal complaint against the author of the Facebook post, which has been removed.

The vegan lives in Saint Gaudens, a village not far from the Pyrenees mountains and the town of Trebes, hit by last week’s attack.

Moroccan-born Radouane Lakdim killed four people during his rampage, including three people in a supermarket in Trebes. Among the victims there were Beltrame and butcher Christian Medves.

President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday led a national tribute to Beltrame, who swapped places with a woman Lakdim had been holding hostage. A ceremony for the three civilians killed was held on Thursday morning.

Lakdim was shot dead by police.

Reporting By Brian Love and Emmanuel Jarry; Editing by Richard Lough and Raissa Kasolowsky

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