Page last updated at 10:29 GMT, Wednesday, 22 October 2008 11:29 UK

Sarkozy needled by 'voodoo doll'

A representative from the company that made the doll responds

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has threatened to sue a publishing company if it does not withdraw from shops a "voodoo doll" in his image.

The doll comes with pins and a manual with instructions on how to put the evil eye on the president.

Users can stick the pins into choice quotes from Mr Sarkozy which are printed on the doll.

Mr Sarkozy's lawyer said the president had the "exclusive and absolute rights" over his own image.

Publishers K&B have issued 20,000 editions of the kit and have also produced a similar doll of Segolene Royal - Mr Sarkozy's Socialist party rival in the presidential elections last year.

The Nicolas Sarkozy "voodoo doll" kit - picture from K&B publishing
Nicolas Sarkozy is not amused by the doll

Her lawyer said she is considering legal action, calling the doll an affront to her human dignity.

The publisher said Mr Sarkozy's reaction was "totally disproportionate" and has so far refused to pull the doll from shops.

The product went on sale on 9 October.

Mr Sarkozy's slogan "work more to earn more" is among the quotes on the doll, along with "get lost, jerk" - which he said to a bystander who refused to shake his hand at an event last year.

It is not the first time Mr Sarkozy has resorted to litigation. Last week he sued Yves Bertrand for libel and invasion of privacy after extracts from the former spy chief's diaries were leaked and published.

Voodoo has become associated with zombies and sticking pins into dolls to curse an enemy, but practitioners say this misrepresents their religion.

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Country profile: France
08 Jul 08 |  Country profiles

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