A French court has fined Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux for making racist comments about a young party activist of Algerian origin.
The court fined Mr Hortefeux 750 euros (£622) and ordered that he pay 2,000 euros to an anti-racism group.
... Mr Hortefeux was joking with a small group of activists from the ruling UMP party in south-west France.Immediately before Mr Hortefeux's controversial remark, one activist is heard saying: "Amin is a Catholic. He eats pork and drinks alcohol."
Mr Hortefeux then says: "Ah, well that won't do at all. He doesn't match the prototype."
A woman is then heard to say: "He is one of us... he is our little Arab."
The interior minister then says: "We always need one. It's when there are lots of them that there are problems."
The court ruled that his remark was "incontestably offensive, if not contemptuous".
The court did not issue a criminal conviction, judging that Mr Hortefeux had not intended the comments to be heard in public.
It found him guilty instead of the lesser offence of racial insult, AFP news agency reported.