Crop-wrecking Bove may draw tough sentence

22nd September 2005, Comments 0 comments

TOULOUSE, France, Sept 21 (AFP) - The state prosecutor in the trial of French anti-globalisation activist José Bové on Wednesday said he should forfeit his civil rights for a year as punishment for destroying genetically modified (GM) crops.

TOULOUSE, France, Sept 21 (AFP) - The state prosecutor in the trial of French anti-globalisation activist José Bové on Wednesday said he should forfeit his civil rights for a year as punishment for destroying genetically modified (GM) crops.

Bové, 51, was in court for a second day along with eight others accused of uprooting a field of GM maize near the southern city of Toulouse in July 2004.

Marc Gaubert recommended that seven of the other defendants -- who include prominent Green party deputy Noël Mamère -- be given the same sentence but suspended. For a ninth man -- an 85-year-old farmer -- he did not request any sentence.

Gaubert said he was asking for a tougher sentence for Bové because he has already been convicted more than once on similar charges.

"By giving yourself rights which have not been handed to you democratically, you are opening the way to anarchy and totalitarianism," Gaubert said.

The moustachioed campaigner, a leader of the radical Farmers' Confederation trade union, was imprisoned for five weeks in 2003 for uprooting GM crops. The year before he served a month and a half in jail for helping demolish a half-built McDonald's eatery.

Recently Bové has let it be known that he is considering running for the presidency of France in 2007. Forfeiture of civil rights includes a ban on standing for elected office, but even if he is convicted the year would have expired before the 2007 campaign gets underway.

A verdict was expected at a later date.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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