The French far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon was given a three-month suspended prison term and a €8,000 fine for intimidating officials investigating his “Unbowed” (LFI) party funding.
Mélenchon ran against Emmanuel Macron in 2017 securing a 19.5% of the vote.
In October 2018 prosecutors launched searches of his party offices and home, suspecting that his party misused EU funds in the hiring of parliamentary assistants. The far-left leader has been seen in a video being hostile towards investigative officers.
A court finally convicted Mélenchon on Monday of “violent resistance” and “intimidation” charges.
Five other members of Melenchon’s LFI party were also sentenced to pay fines of between €2,000 and €8,000 for struggles and verbal exchanges with the police,
Mélenchon claims the prosecution was politically motivated, designed to tame his support for the anti-government “yellow vest” protests.
Since his election in May 2016, French President Emmanuel Macron‘s popularity has declined due to a cluster of pro-business policies, such as ending a wealth tax. But hiking fuel tax triggered a public unrest movement that continues to undermine his administration.