Greenpeace activists face fine over Eiffel Tower protest

WEB_PHOT_GREENPEACE_EIFFEL_TOWER_20012018

A photo shows a banner reading "liberty, equality, fraternity" hung by Greenpeace activists on the Eiffel Tower in Paris early on May 5, 2017, to protest against the far-right Front National (FN) party, two days before the second round of the presidential

A photo shows a banner reading "liberty, equality, fraternity" hung by Greenpeace activists on the Eiffel Tower in Paris early on May 5, 2017, to protest against the far-right Front National (FN) party, two days before the second round of the presidential

WEB_PHOT_GREENPEACE_EIFFEL_TOWER_20012018

A photo shows a banner reading "liberty, equality, fraternity" hung by Greenpeace activists on the Eiffel Tower in Paris early on May 5, 2017, to protest against the far-right Front National (FN) party, two days before the second round of the presidential

A photo shows a banner reading "liberty, equality, fraternity" hung by Greenpeace activists on the Eiffel Tower in Paris early on May 5, 2017, to protest against the far-right Front National (FN) party, two days before the second round of the presidential

PARIS – Greenpeace activists who hung a banner from the Eiffel Tower in protest against far-right leader Marine Le Pen should be given 500 euro fines and suspended sentences, French prosecutors said Friday.

Demonstrators from the environmental campaign group unfurled the banner which read "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity Resist" from the iconic tower on May 5 last year, two days before the second round of the election.

The protest was in response to the "crazy situation" which saw the Front National leader reach the run-off vote with the eventual winner Emmanuel Macron, one activist said. 

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On Friday, nine of the defendants admitted having cut a safety net to carry out the protest but denied having damaged a fence.

Prosecutors asked the courts to hand each activist a three month suspended sentence and a 500 euro fine for trespassing.

The defendants, who refused to offer a DNA sample in custody, should be handed an extra 200 euro fine, they added.

A Greenpeace spokeswoman said the penalties requested were "particularly severe".

The group are due to be sentenced next month.