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Bin Laden shirt sends football fan to court

World

Paris - A football fan who had a Paris Saint-Germain replica shirt printed with the name of Osama Bin Laden on the back found himself in court Friday, charged with defending terrorism.

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This undated video grab shows Saudi-born alleged terrorism mastermind Osama bin Laden speaking at an undisclosed location in Afghanistan from a video said to have been prepared by bin Laden himself. Copies of the tape, which shows him as well as al-Qaeda guerrilla fighters training at al-Faruq camp in Afghanistan, have been circulated to a limited number of Islamists. Bin Laden is America's prime suspect behind the September 11 terrorist attacks. AFP PHOTO/HO

The 21-year-old, who bought the shirt in the club store on the Champs-Elysees, was arrested after a shop assistant reported him saying he wanted to honour the memory of the late al-Qaeda leader.

In court, the accused denied the comments attributed to him and defended his purchase as a joke. “I've seen a lot worse than that - shirts with Adolf Hitler on the back for example,” he told the court.

The prosecutor had initially proposed restricting the legal follow-up to a simple caution but the case came to court because the accused did not respond to a summons.

As a result, the prosecutor is now seeking a 300-euro (abour R3 300). The judge will deliver his verdict on December 21. - AFP

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