The founder of France's far right National Front party has been convicted of contesting crimes against humanity for saying the Nazi occupation wasn't "particularly inhumane."

A French appeals court sentenced Jean-Marie Le Pen to a three-month suspended prison sentence on Thursday and a $13,000 fine.

Le Pen, who had made the comments in a magazine in 2005, was not present at the hearing, according to AFP.

France has strict laws against anti-Semitic speech and denying the Holocaust, and Le Pen was originally convicted for the remarks in 2009. A higher court annulled the decision and sent it back to the Paris appeals court, which ruled on Thursday.

According to AFP, Le Pen said he would appeal the ruling to France’s Court of Cassation, the country’s court of last resort, and linked Thursday’s decision with the French presidential election in April.

"I will make an appeal in cassation against this decision, which I’m not surprised comes during the election period," Le Pen told AFP, accusing the courts of "opportunism.”