France: Far-left leader sentenced to suspended jail term | News | DW | 09.12.2019
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France: Far-left leader sentenced to suspended jail term

Jean-Luc Melenchon has also been fined thousands of euros for intimidating officials who were investigating him over alleged fraud. The opposition leader supports the anti-government "yellow vest" protests.

French far-left opposition leader Jean-Luc Melenchon was on Monday sentenced to a suspended three-month prison term and fined €8,000 ($8,850) by a Paris court.

The former presidential candidate was convicted of intimidating officials who were investigating him over possible financial misconduct surrounding the formation of his party, La France Insoumise (France Unbowed).

Melenchon, a vocal critic of centrist President Emmanuel Macron's pro-business policies, immediately denounced what he called "a political judgement."

Read more: Emmanuel Macron goes ahead with pension reforms amid strikes

Furious response

Monday's ruling relates to raids on Melenchon's home and party offices conducted last year at the behest of the public prosecutor's office in Paris .

Video images from the scene of one of the searches had shown the far-left politician addressing a police officer guarding the door of his office, demanding to know who had given him his orders, then yelling "I am the Republic! I am a member of parliament," before apparently trying with colleagues to force the door open.

Five other members of Melenchon's LFI party were also sentenced to pay fines of between €2,000 — €8,000 for the struggles and verbal exchanges with the police who made a search at the far-left party's headquarters in October 2018.

kw/rt (dpa, Reuters)

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