A court in Paris is due to give its verdict on the publisher of a satirical French magazine, accused of insulting a group of people on grounds of their religion. Philippe Val, the publisher of Charlie Hebdo, went to court in February, after the weekly printed caricatures of the prophet Mohammed. The action was brought by The Grand Mosque of Paris and the Union of French Islamic Organisations.
The case centres on three cartoons which the magazine claims lampoon terrorism, and not Islam. Two of the caricatures had already been published in a Danish magazine in 2005, sparking violent demonstrations in the Middle East. In France last year, the publication was greeted with protests, as one leading cleric called on all Muslims to take action against any offensive comments or images. Philippe Val faces up to six months in prison and a fine of more than 22,000 euros in a case he says symbolises the defence of free-speech.