France wants prison term for Brigitte Bardot


PARIS -- French prosecutors Tuesday called for a two-month suspended prison sentence and fine of 15,000 euros ($22,500) against Brigitte Bardot for inciting racial hatred toward the Muslim community.

The Paris court heard that the actress-turned-animal rights campaigner had written a letter in December 2006 to President Nicolas Sarkozy, then interior minister, in protest of the method of slaying sheep during the Muslim festival of Aid El-Kebir. Bardot called for the sheep to be stunned before they are bled to death, which is the traditional method.

More problematic was what Bardot followed that up with.

"We're fed up with being led around by this whole population which is destroying us, destroying our country by imposing its acts," she wrote.

The letter was published in a magazine and distributed to supporters of the Brigitte Bardot Foundation. Several anti-racism groups in France filed complaints about the letter, accusing Bardot of provoking discrimination and racial hatred toward Muslims.

Prosecutor Anne de Fontette said she was "a bit tired" of pursuing the former starlet for the same offense. Bardot has been convicted of similar offenses on four previous occasions since 1997 and fined $2,250-$7,500.

The court will deliver its verdict June 3.