French court rejects "genocide" denial bill

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French court rejects "genocide" denial bill

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France’s top legal body has thrown out a law making it illegal to deny that the 1915 mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks was genocide.

Ankara has already welcomed the news, saying a “grave crisis” has been avoided.

Both houses of parliament had approved the bill which made denying genocide a crime in a move which strained ties between France and Turkey.

The law was due to be ratified by President Nicolas Sarkozy by the end of the month.

But not the Consitutional Council has rejected it on the grounds it runs the against the freedom of expression enshrined in France’s founding documents.