Jail term urged for Sarkozy attacker

1st July 2011, Comments 0 comments

Prosecutors Friday sought three months in jail for a 32-year-old man who dragged French President Nicolas Sarkozy off his feet as he greeted the public on a walkabout.

Hermann Fuster, 32, was in court in the southwestern town of Agen a day after he yanked Sarkozy by his jacket in a surprise breach of presidential security which left the president unharmed.

State prosecutor Pascal Prache asked judges for a nine-month jail term, six months suspended, and community service for Fuster, a caretaker and receptionist at a local conservatory.

"You breached a taboo by attacking the president of the republic," Prache told Fuster in a packed courtroom.

"Democracy is based on respect and the absence of physical violence. It is a democratic principal that you endangered."

After grabbing Sarkozy on Thursday, Fuster was immediately wrestled to the ground by bodyguards and taken into custody.

He appeared in the dock Friday dressed in black with gothic skull designs on his T-shirt.

Fuster is accused of "violence against a person holding public authority," a charge punishable by up to three years in jail and a fine of 45,000 euros ($65,000). Sarkozy himself did not press charges.

© 2011 AFP

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