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Dieudonné to stand trial over Paris attack Facebook post

Dieudonné (Left) at a Paris courthouse on December 13, 2013
Dieudonné (Left) at a Paris courthouse on December 13, 2013 Joel Saget, AFP file picture

Notorious French comedian Dieudonné is to stand trial for being an "apologist for terrorism" after writing a Facebook comment suggesting he sympathised with one of the gunmen in last week's Paris attacks, a judicial source said Wednesday.

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Prosecutors had opened the case against him on Monday after he posted "Tonight, as far as I'm concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly" -- mixing the popular slogan "Je Suis Charlie" used in homage to the journalists killed at satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, with a reference to one of the gunmen in last week's attacks, Amédy Coulibaly.

Coulibaly killed four people at a Jewish supermarket on Friday and a policewoman the day before.

The comedian made international headlines in 2013 when French footballer Nicolas Anelka was banned for five matches by English football authorities for flashing the 'quenelle', a hand-gesture created by Dieudonné that many people consider anti-Semitic.

Dieudonné made his controversial Facebook post after attending Sunday's unity march against extremism that brought more than 1.5 million people onto the streets of Paris in the wake of the attacks.

He described the march -- considered the biggest rally in modern French history -- as "a magical moment comparable to the big-bang".

The government has in the past banned Dieudonné's shows because it considers them "anti-Semitic".

In response to the interior minister's comment, the comedian said the government was trying to "ruin my life" when "I am only trying to make people laugh".

He has since removed the offending remark from his Facebook page.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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