Two jailed over riot at French subway station

30th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 30, 2007 (AFP) - A French court jailed Thursday two young men for four months for their part in a riot at a main subway station that ballooned into a major issue for France's presidential candidates.

PARIS, March 30, 2007 (AFP) - A French court jailed Thursday two young men for four months for their part in a riot at a main subway station that ballooned into a major issue for France's presidential candidates.

Prosecutors had called for six month sentences for the pair for throwing projectiles at police on Tuesday evening at the Gare du Nord during a riot sparked by the arrest of a fare-dodger.

The court delayed proceedings against a third youth accused of having hidden a pair of shoes in a vandalised shop until April 25 following a demand from his lawyer.

The 18-year-old will be detained until the hearing when video surveillance footage from the night of the riot should be available.

About 100 youths rioted on Tuesday at the Gare du Nord, where the mainline Eurostar terminal is a major gateway from Paris to the rest of Europe.

Dozens of rioters attacked windows, vending machines and shops in the main hall of the subway station for several hours before police dispersed the crowd using tear-gas.

Eight railway officials and one police officer were lightly hurt.

The violence raised the spectre of the three weeks of riots in autumn 2005, when clashes between police and youths on the outskirts of Paris left hundreds of people injured.

Coming just weeks before France's presidential elections, Tuesday's riot quickly became a political issue.

Socialist challenger Segolene Royal and centrist Francois Bayrou have accused the ruling centre-right -- and its presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy -- of creating a climate of hostility between police and youths.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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