A case of incitement to racial hatred against a controversial French TV and radio commentator was dismissed on Tuesday. Eric Zemmour had been prosecuted for comparing gangs of foreigners to the invading barbarians that followed the fall of the Roman empire.

"The Normans, the Huns, the Arabs, the great invasions after the fall of Rome have now been replaced by gangs of Chechens, Roma, Kosovars, Maghrebins and Africans who rob, assault and pillage," Zemmour declared in a radio broadcast in May last year.

"Excessive and shocking though these words may appear", the court declared in its judgement, they only referred to "a fraction of the communities and not to them in their entirety".

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