OK to stick pins in Sarkozy doll, court rules

A French court rejected President Nicolas Sarkozy's demand for a ban on a Sarkozy voodoo doll that caused widespread mirth across the country. The court ruled that the doll was "within authorized boundaries of freedom of expression".


A French court on Wednesday dismissed a much-mocked attempt by President Nicolas Sarkozy to have a comedy voodoo doll bearing his image banned from sale.

Earlier this month, the French leader lodged a complaint against the doll, which is on sale in a kit containing needles to spear it with and a satirical biography, immediately boosting sales of the item.

It was the president's sixth lawsuit since he was elected last year and caused widespread mirth in France, generating acres of free publicity for the doll and cheering his political opponents.

"I have a sense of humour," said Segolene Royal, Sarkozy's Socialist opponent in last year's election, when asked if she planned to take action against her own voodoo doll, which is sold alongside Sarkozy's.

For his part, the judge at the high court in Paris ruled that the doll falls within "the authorised limits of free expression and the right to humour."

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