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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 July, 2004, 14:48 GMT 15:48 UK
'Race attack' woman faces trial
A member of the Jewish community looks at a desecrated tombstone in Herrlisheim, France on 30 April 2004
The reported assault followed a rise in anti-Semitic attacks
The French woman who falsely claimed she had been the victim of an anti-Semitic attack has been ordered to stand trial.

A court in a Paris suburb freed the woman, known as Marie, on condition she returns on 26 July to face charges of reporting an imaginary offence.

She has admitted having invented the story of the attack by a gang of North Africans on a Paris suburban train.

Her claims outraged France and drew condemnation from President Chirac.

The 23-year-old faces a sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of 7,500 euros.

"She is in no way irresponsible," said prosecutor Xavier Salvat, although she does "suffer from a need for social recognition" which could explain her act, reports the Associated Press.


She claimed six men surrounded her and rifled through her bag before pushing her and her child over.

She said they used a knife to cut her hair and her shirt open, drew swastikas on her stomach using a marker pen and accused her of being Jewish.

Her initial story caused widespread anger in France where fears of rising anti-semitism have prompted the government to introduce new measures to combat racism.

But police had doubts about inconsistencies in her story after no witnesses came forward and footage surveillance cameras failed to show the attackers.

Soon after she was taken into custody for questioning on Tuesday, she admitted she had lied.

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14 Jul 04  |  Europe
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13 Jul 04  |  Europe
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13 Jul 04  |  Europe
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11 Jul 04  |  Europe

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