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‘Judicial comedy!’: French left-wing leader Melenchon slams court over suspended prison sentence for ‘intimidating’ officials

‘Judicial comedy!’: French left-wing leader Melenchon slams court over suspended prison sentence for ‘intimidating’ officials
The leader of the left-wing ‘La France Insoumise’ (LFI) party, Jean-Luc Melenchon, blasted the court's decision as politically-motivated after it handed him a three-month suspended sentence for "intimidating" officials.

In addition to a suspended prison term, the Paris court ruled on Monday that Melenchon must pay an 8,000 euro ($8,850) fine for confronting civil servants who were investigating him over possible of funding irregularities.

The incident took place in October 2018, when police raided LFI’s party HQ in Paris. During the raid, Melenchon was filmed scuffling and arguing with investigators and a police officer. In a heated argument, the politician pushed them and yelled in their faces.

The prosecutors later accused Melenchon of “violently resisting” official procedures and using force against civil servants. 

Melenchon denied using physical force and violence against officials.

“Shame of those who sponsored this media-judicial circus,” Melenchon tweeted after the trial.

He earlier slammed the court as being politically-motivated.

Obviously, the verdict is political… It’s a judicial comedy.

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Melenchon rose to prominence as a firebrand critic of the French political elite and President Emmanuel Macron. He ran for president in 2017, coming fourth with 19.58 percent of the votes.

The left-wing politician has been a vocal supporter of the Yellow Vest protest movement against Macron’s government, and spoke out against police brutality during the clashes with the protesters. Last month, he accused the officers of behaving like a “government militia,” rather than a democratic police at the Yellow Vest rallies.

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