- Title: FRANCE: French court allows Sarkozy voodoo doll
- Date: 30th October 2008
- Summary: (EU) PARIS, FRANCE (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SARKOZY AT BOOK STORE SIGNING HIS BOOK VARIOUS OF SARKOZY SIGNING HIS BOOK FOR FANS
- Embargoed: 14th November 2008 12:00
- Location: France
- Country: France
- Topics: Domestic Politics,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVAA73AZMNTBR6HFRKI9NRQOID8J
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: French president Nicolas Sarkozy loses a case against a publishing company he sued over their production and sale of a voodoo doll in his image.
A French court on Wednesday (October 29) rejected President Nicolas Sarkozy's demand for a ban on a Sarkozy doll and voodoo manual that encourages readers to stick pins in it.
Sarkozy sued a publishing company for marketing a voodoo doll in his image. The doll, emblazoned with some of the president's most famous quotes, comes with its own set of pins and a manual book telling buyers where to stick them.
The court said the voodoo doll was "within the authorised boundaries of freedom of expression and the right to humour". It rejected Sarkozy's argument that the doll violated his right to his own image.
"The judge presiding considered that there was no harm to the image of Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy and so no illegal act involved. It's the view of the judge and I am not ready to comment on this decision right now," said Sarkozy's attorney Thierry Herzog, moments after leaving the courtroom.
"The judge considered this matter differently (than we did).
Considering that this was without a doubt, I say without a doubt, but I have not read the full decision, not an irrational but rational decision. In the name of humour everything is allowed," Herzog told reporters.
The publishing firm had refused to pull the product. K&B has issued 20,000 copies of the manual and doll.
"We are happy with the results," said Arnaud Rouillon, lawyer for the publishing company who read part of the verdict to journalists outside the courtroom:
"No one can take this process seriously and believe that it is a real voodoo like the practice in the Antilles."
Voodoo is a religion rooted in West Africa that is practised in parts of the Caribbean and the southern United States.
According to widespread belief, voodoo worshippers plant pins in dolls representing their enemies to curse them. However, voodoo experts say outsiders have misunderstood the practice.
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