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Brigitte Bardot risks prison for hate speech

Former French starlet Brigitte Bardot faces the possibility of a 15,000-euro fine and a suspended prison sentence for remarks she made in 2006 criticising Islam and its treatment of animals being prepared for consumption.

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A Paris prosecutor called Tuesday for former actress Brigitte Bardot to be fined 15,000 euros (23,000-dollars) and a suspended two-month prison sentence for inciting hatred against Muslims.

In December 2006, the French star wrote a letter to France's then interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, claiming Muslims should stun animals before slaughtering them at the Aid al-Kabir holiday.

She outraged French anti-racist groups by saying: "I've had enough of being led by the nose by this whole population which is destroying us, destroying our country by imposing their ways."

Bardot, now 73 and suffering from arthritis, was absent from Tuesday's court hearing. She wrote to the court saying: "I'm sickened by how (these organisations) are harassing me."

She added: "I will not shut up until stunning is carried out" on animals before their ritual slaughter.

Bardot, who has been an animal rights activist for 20 years, already has four convictions on similar charges.

In 2004 a Paris court fined her 5,000 euros for inciting racial hatred in her book "Un Cri Dans le Silence" (A Cry in the Silence).

The court is due to announce its decision on June 3.

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