Court rules Sarkozy voodoo doll can remain on sale

PARIS Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:41pm IST

Related Topics

PARIS (Reuters) - A doll representing French President Nicolas Sarkozy and an accompanying "voodoo manual" with directions for sticking pins into the figurine can remain on sale after a ruling from an appeals court on Friday.

The doll, which has been on sale since Oct. 9, is adorned with a choice of Sarkozy's best-known remarks including his now-famous admonition to a heckler, "Get lost you pathetic arsehole!". It also comes with pins and a set of instructions for sticking them into the doll.

The court ruled that the doll and the accompanying volume entitled "Nicolas Sarkozy, the voodoo manual" constituted an "offence against the personal dignity" of Sarkozy.

But it said it would be "disproportionate and harmful to liberty of expression" to ban their sale outright.

Instead, it said that the doll may be sold provided it carries a notice of the judgment attached.

It also ordered the manufacturers to pay Sarkozy 2,000 euros ($2,588) in costs, all other costs of the case as well as a symbolic one euro in damages.

Sarkozy's lawyer Thierry Herzog said he was satisfied by the judgment. "The important thing is that consistent principles and jurisprudence should be applied," he said.

A lower court last month rejected an application by Sarkozy to prevent the publishers from selling the doll and the manual, ruling that the items were "within the authorised boundaries of freedom of expression and the right to humour".

Voodoo is a religion practised in some parts of the Caribbean and the southern United States.

According to a common belief, practitioners stick pins into dolls representing their enemies to harm them. Specialists in voodoo say they do not use dolls in this way.

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Fighting the Islamic State

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Fighting Ebola

Fighting Ebola

Cuban doctors proud to risk lives in mission to halt Ebola.  Full Article 

Baghdad Bombing

Baghdad Bombing

Baghdad restaurant bombs kill 21  Full Article 

Canada On Alert

Canada On Alert

Canada raises terrorism threat level, cites Islamist chatter.  Full Article 

Foreign Threat?

Foreign Threat?

Sweden gets two new sightings, as hunt for undersea intruder goes on.  Full Article 

Iran Nuclear Talks

Iran Nuclear Talks

Exclusive: Iran offers "compromises" in nuclear talks, West unmoved  Full Article 

Prisoner Freed

Prisoner Freed

North Korea unexpectedly frees American Jeffrey Fowle.  Full Article 

Npeal Disaster

Npeal Disaster

Death toll in Nepal's worst trekking disaster reaches 43  Full Article 

Power Failure

Power Failure

Japan's bid to forge national grid stumbles.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage