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Jose Bove Gets 14 Months in
Prison for Destroying Frankencrops

November 19, 2002
French Activist Gets 14 Months For Destroying GMO Crops

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

PARIS (AP)--France's highest court ruled Tuesday that militant French farmer
Jose Bove must serve 14 months in prison for destroying two fields of
genetically modified crops.

The Court of Cassation confirmed a decision by a Montpellier appeals court
sending Bove to prison for six months for destroying a genetically modified
rice field in 1999, and revoking an eight-month suspended sentence in a 1998
case.

Bove, a mustachioed anti-globalization activist, was in his hometown of
Millau, in southern France, when the verdict was read out. He will not go to
jail until formally notified of the decision, likely by the prosecutor's
office in Montpellier.

Bove's attorney, Francois Roux, said he would appeal the decision to the
European Court of Human Rights. However, an appeal to that body does not
keep Bove out of jail.

Bove supporters urged President Jacques Chirac to intervene to stop him from
going to prison.

"A refusal on his part would be equivalent to an attack on public freedoms
and a clear show of support for agrochemical multinationals," said the
farmers federation that Bove leads.

The court also rejected the appeal of two other militants, Rene Riesel,
given the same sentence as Bove, and Dominique Soullie, given a six-month
suspended sentence. Soullie was the only one of the three present for the
verdict.

Bove, a sheep farmer whose crusades against globalization have taken him
around the world, first gained attention for leading a group of protesters
who dismantled a McDonald's (MCD) restaurant under construction in Millau,
near his sheep farm, in August 1999.

He went to jail on June 19 to complete a 61-day prison term for that act,
but benefitted from a presidential pardon - a Bastille Day tradition - and
got an early Aug. 1 release.

After years of denouncing "foul food" - including genetically modified crops
and fast food - Bove has increasingly taken up other causes.

Last spring, he met with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in the West Bank
town of Ramallah in defiance of Israeli soldiers who had surrounded Arafat's
compound. Israel then ordered Bove deported.
URL for this article:
http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,BT_CO_20021119_005402.djm,00.html

Updated November 19, 2002 1:43 p.m. EST

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