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Insulting president no longer criminal offence in France

ANI  |  Edinburgh 

It is no longer a criminal offence to openly insult the French president, the country's has agreed.

The move comes after a centuries old was scrapped by MPs in favour of freedom of speech.

According to Scotsman, until now, anyone who was rude to the head of state faced an automatic fine under 1881 legislation making it an offence to 'offend the president'.

The change in the comes after EU judges ruled in March that France had violated a protester's right to freedom of expression.

The protestor was fined for waving a banner at former president Nicolas Sarkozy reading: "Get lost, you jerk" - "Casse-toi pov'con" in French.

According to the report, the slogan hit the headlines after Sarkozy infamously issued the same slur to a man at a farming trade fair, who had refused to shake his hand five years ago.

The European of Human Rights ruled that demonstrator Herve Eon's protest banner was a satirical reference to the incident and his conviction and 25 pounds fine were out of proportion to his protest, the report added.

First Published: Fri, July 26 2013. 13:12 IST