France toughens penalties for attacks on police

20th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 19, 2006 (AFP) - Just ahead of the anniversary of France's suburban riots, the government on Thursday announced plans to toughen penalties for gang attacks on police as well as for incitement to riot.

PARIS, Oct 19, 2006 (AFP) - Just ahead of the anniversary of France's suburban riots, the government on Thursday announced plans to toughen penalties for gang attacks on police as well as for incitement to riot.

The announcement by Justice Minister Pascal Clément follows a series of recent violent attacks on police officers in Paris's high-immigration "banlieues".

Speaking before the Senate, Clément said the government will introduce a new crime of "deliberate violence against a law enforcement officer committed with a weapon and in an organised gang" carrying a 15-year jail term, as opposed to the current 10 years.

Suspected offenders will appear before the Court of Assise, which includes a jury and hears more serious crimes, Clement said.

Earlier Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said he intended to pass a law so that "attackers of policemen, gendarmes and fire officers can be sent before the Court of Assises".

Clement also said that people who "incite riot and call on people to resist the police" will face two months in jail, as opposed to the current punishment of a fine.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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