Prison sentence upheld for presidential candidate

7th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 7, 2007 (AFP) - France's top appeals court on Wednesday upheld a four-month prison sentence imposed on farmer-activist Jose Bove, raising the possibility that he may have to campaign for the presidency from a jail cell.

PARIS, Feb 7, 2007 (AFP) - France's top appeals court on Wednesday upheld a four-month prison sentence imposed on farmer-activist Jose Bove, raising the possibility that he may have to campaign for the presidency from a jail cell.

The Cour de Cassation rejected Bove's appeal against a conviction for destroying genetically-modified (GM) crops in the southwestern region of Haute-Garonne in July 2004.

A separate judge will now have to decide when and how Bove is to serve out his sentence and may allow him to spend some time outside prison or to wear an an electronic bracelet to monitor his whereabouts.

Bove, 53, the hero of France's anti-globalisation movement, announced he was running for the presidency last week as a candidate of the anti-capitalist far left.

"This is a serious decision," Bove said after losing the appeal. He added that he may become "the first political prisoner to also stand as a candidate for a presidential election."

Bove has said he does not want to wear an electronic bracelet.

"This is a political conviction," he said. "Wherever I may end up, the campaign will continue."

The mustachioed sheep farmer shot to worldwide fame in 1999 after trashing a half-built McDonald's outlet in southern France, and he has called for a moratorium on GM crops as part of his campaign against what he has termed "malbouffe", or bad food.

The appeals court also upheld sentences on six other activists who took part in the destruction of the crops in Menville, west of Toulouse.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, Presidential elections, Jose Bove

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