PARIS - The French authorities have opened an investigation into a controversial comedian who mocked the killing of United States journalist James Foley and showed footage of it in a video.
Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala said that decapitation "symbolises before anything progress, access to civilisation" in the video that appeared on the Internet last month.
The Paris prosector's office said the police were starting a preliminary investigation into Dieudonne on the grounds that he had condoned terrorism.
In the video, called "Foley That Was", Dieudonne said the 2011 killing of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and that of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, who was hanged in 2006, never aroused the same indignation as Mr Foley's death.
"The Rothschild mafia says no, that's ok, but James Foley, that's too much," Dieudonne says, an apparent but unexplained reference to the prominent Jewish banking family.
It also showed some footage of the killing. "I think decapitation symbolises before anything progress, access to civilisation," he said. "In France, we decapitated people in front of the masses, on the public plazas."