MONTPELLIER, France - A prosecutor on Friday asked a court
to hand down a three-month prison sentence for activist Jose Bove,
on trial in France raiding a laboratory and destroying more than
1,000 genetically altered plants.
Calling the June 1999 burning of the rice plants
``intolerable,'' prosecutor Olivier Decout also sought a
three-month sentence for a second defendant, Rene Riesel who, like
Bove, has been previously convicted in a separate case.
Several thousand French farmers march behind a banner of their rural farmer's union 'Confederation Paysanne' during the trial of radical French farm leader Jose Bove in Montpellier, February 8, 2001. Bove stands trial on charges of raiding a research centre and destroying genetically modified rice plants. REUTERS/Geoges Bartoli
The prosecutor asked for a three-month suspended sentence for
the third defendant, Dominique Soullier, because he has no prior
record. A verdict was expected later Friday.
Decout denounced the ``premeditated, deliberate'' operation,
saying the use of hammers and crowbars and the destruction of doors
and computers were ``unacceptable methods in a state of law.''
Bove, 47, a militant sheep farmer, gained fame after attacking a
McDonald's restaurant as part of his battle against globalization.
He is being tried on charged he raided a greenhouse belonging to
CIRAD, an international center for agronomy research in
CIRAD, a civil party in the case, is seeking $1.7 million in
Unidentified members of the French-based anti-globalization group ATTAC (Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions for Aid to Citizens) protest while handcuffed together outside a McDonald's restaurant in Marseille, southern France, Thursday Feb. 8, 2001. The protest came in support for Jose Bove, the militant sheep farmer who shot to fame for ransacking a McDonalds restaurant in France and went on trial Thursday on charges he destroyed genetically altered rice plant in southern France.(AP Photo/Claude Paris)
In the past, Bove received an eight-month suspended sentence for
plowing up a field planted with genetically modified corn. In
September, he was sentenced to three months in prison for
vandalizing the McDonald's in Millau in southern France. An appeal
of that verdict is to be heard next week.
Bove is under investigation for allegedly destroying genetically
altered corn in two other regions in France.
Bove is a leader of the Farmers Confederation, a militant group
of farmers fighting against what they see as the encroachment of
multinationals producing standardized, unhealthy food.