FORMER French presidential candidate José Bové has avoided time in prison and been allowed to keep his job as a European MP for his involvement in an attack on genetically modified crops in 2006.
Prosecutors had called for the anti-capitalism activist to spend eight months in jail and be banned from public office for four years office for helping to destroy more than 2,000 tonnes of GM maize in the Gironde.
A court in Bordeaux yesterday revised the sentence to one year suspended, with a €12,000 fine. Bové will be allowed to keep his seat in the European parliament, where he is vice-president of its agriculture committee.
Bové, who represents the Europe Ecologie party, has been charged for 25 separate attacks since 1976. He spent three months behind bars for pulling down parts of a McDonald's restaurant under construction in Millau in 1999.
No GM crops are being grown officially in France, after the government last year banned the only strain of GM maize under cultivation, MON810, produced by US agribusiness giant Monsanto.