Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder and former president of France's National Front party, is to be charged over antisemitic remarks he made on TV earlier this year .
Le Pen told BFMTV on April 2: "The gas chambers are just a minor detail in Second World War history, unless one says that Second World War was just a minor detail of the history of gas chambers."
Under French law, such a statement can be construed as Holocaust denial, which is a criminal offence. Le Pen has expressed similar views over the past
25 years. In 1991, he was fined the equivalent of €183,000 for a similar statement.
Le Pen sees such punishments as another example of the "legal persecution" to which he has been subjected throughout his political career.
However, on July 8, a French court vindicated his claim that the move by his daughter, Marine Le Pen, the current NF president, to strip him of his honorary presidency and expel him from the party was not legal.
Some veteran National Front militants are upset with Marine's efforts to rebrand the party and are talking about launching their own list. Jean-Marie said on July 20 that he was "considering" joining them. Some observers think that
a dissident NF can weaken Marine Le Pen's party just enough to deprive it of clear-cut victor-
ies in many constituencies.