Jean Marie (L) and Marine Le Pen
Jean Marie (L) and Marine Le Pen Reuters

Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of France's National Front (FN) party, was convicted on Wednesday of denying crimes against humanity for repeating an old claim of his, that the Nazi gas chambers are a "detail" of World War II.

The 87-year-old politician, who was succeeded by his daughter, Marine, as head of FN in 2011, was ordered to pay a 30,000 euros ($34,000) fine plus damages to three charities which brought the case.

The judges also ordered that verdict be published in three newspapers.

The elder Le Pen was convicted of the same offense in 2012, after claiming that the Nazi occupation of France was not "particularly inhumane".

Decades ago, Le Pen was convicted for saying the gas chambers were "a detail of the history of the Second World War".

He repeated the remark in April of 2015, when he told the BFMTV news channel: "Gas chambers were a detail of the war, unless we accept that the war is a detail of the gas chambers."

Asked if millions of deaths could be called a point of detail, Le Pen said: "It is not a million deaths, it is the gas chambers. I'm talking about specific things. I have not talked about the number of dead. I spoke of a system. I said it was a detail of the history of warfare".

Besides his remarks about the Holocaust, Le Pen said in 2014 that the Ebola virus could solve Europe's "immigration problem".

Le Pen expressed his support for Donald Trump in the US elections in February. "If I were American, I would vote Donald Trump," Le Pen tweeted in French. "But may God protect him!"

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