USA TODAY - Bob Dylan is in hot water in France because of a year-old interview he gave to Rolling Stone in which he compared Croatians to Nazis.

Dylan, 72, has been charged with incitement to hatred for statements that appeared in the magazine's September 2012 issue, according toAFP. The news service says the singer was charged while he was in Paris to accept France's Legion d'Honneur for his distinguished music career.

In that wide-ranging 2012 interview, Dylan compared relations between Croatians andSerbs to those between Nazis and Jews :

"Blacks know that some whites didn't want to give up slavery — that if they had their way, they would still be under the yoke, and they can't pretend they don't know that. If you got a slave master or Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood," Dylan was quoted as saying.

In the 1990s, Croatia and Serbia were involved in bloody military conflicts in theBalkans that killed thousands, including many civilians.

During World War II, the Independent State of Croatia was a Nazi puppet regime responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Jews, Serbs and other minority groups.

French law bars speech that might invite "discrimination, hatred or violence with regard to a person or group of people on the grounds of their origin or of their membership or non-membership of an ethnic group, a nation, a race, or a religion," according to AFP.

Fashion designer John Galliano was found guilty of a related crime in France in 2011 for an anti-Semitic rant that was captured on video. He was fined about $8,400.