A French muslim man accused by the government of practicing polygamy insisted on Monday that he had only one wife and several mistresses, and was not breaking French law.
At a press conference on Monday, Lies Hebbadj, an Algerian-born 35 year-old butcher, responded to suggestions by French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux that he should lose his French passport because he was believed to have four wives who had given him 12 children who were all receiving welfare benefits.
"As far as I know, it is not forbidden to have mistresses in France, nor is it forbidden under Islam," said Hebbadj. "If you lose your French nationality for having mistresses, then a lot of French men would have been stripped of their citizenship."
Hebbadj became a French citizen in 1999, after marrying a woman with French nationality.