A gamma-ray telescope mission concept [gamma ray imager (GRI)] based on Laue focusing techniques has been proposed in reply to the European Space Agency call for mission ideas within the framework of the next decade planning (Cosmic Vision 2015–2025). In order to optimize the design of a focal plane for this satellite mission, a CdZnTe detector prototype has been tested at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility under an ∼100% polarized gamma-ray beam. The spectroscopic, imaging, and timing performances were studied and in particular its potential as a polarimeter was evaluated. Polarization has been recognized as being a very important observational parameter in high energy astrophysics (≫100 keV) and therefore this capability has been specifically included as part of the GRI mission proposal. The prototype detector tested was a 5 mm thick CdZnTe array with an 11×11 active pixel matrix (pixel area of 2.5×2.5 mm2). The detector was irradiated by a monochromatic linearly polarized beam with a spot diameter of about 0.5 mm over the energy range between 150 and 750 keV. Polarimetric Q factors of 0.35 and double event relative detection efficiency of 20% were obtained. Further measurements were performed with a copper Laue monochromator crystal placed between the beam and the detector prototype. In this configuration we have demonstrated that a polarized beam does not change its polarization level and direction after undergoing a small angle (≪1°) Laue diffraction inside a crystal.