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    Paris Court Sentences Yellow Vests Leader Eric Drouet to Over $2,000 in Fines

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    PARIS (Sputnik) - A Paris court sentenced one of the leaders of the yellow vest protests Eric Drouet to a 2,000-euro ($2,240) fine, of which 500 euros have been suspended, for organising two unauthorised protests on 22 December and 2 January, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the courtroom on Friday.

    "A fine of 2,000 thousand euros, of which 500 euros is suspended", Drouet's lawyer Kheops Lara told reporters.

    Lara said he regretted the court's decision, adding that he intends to protest the sentence.

    "This is fine, which may seem almost insignificant… But it still remains a criminal sentence. I think that this decision will damage the image of France and the French justice", the lawyer said.

    READ MORE: France Bans Yellow Vest Rallies on Champs-Elysees For 2nd Week in Row

    Drouet himself was not present at the court session, as he was busy with his job, the lawyer explained.

    "He works, even at night… But I immediately informed him of the court decision. I think he will speak out pretty quickly", Lara added.

    Lara also recalled that two weeks ago Drouet had publicly said that he had stopped participating in protest rallies and intended to look for other ways of action for the "yellow vests".

    "I do not know whether he would participate in the rally tomorrow", the lawyer added.

    According to media reports, during the court hearing on February 15, the prosecutor demanded Drouet a suspended sentence of one month in prison and a fine of 500 euros.

    Drouet, who was one of the initiators of the first yellow vests rally, was twice detained by law enforcement agencies during demonstrations on 22 December and 2 January for organising unauthorised rallies. On 5 June, Drouet will be tried again over "carrying of prohibited weapons" at the rally on 22 December.

    READ MORE: Macron at 'Critical' Standoff Stage With Yellow Vests Protesters — Scholar

    The wave of the yellow vests rallies started in France in mid-November over planned hikes in fuel taxes. While the French government abandoned its plans to raise fuel taxes and introduced other measures to improve the country's socioeconomic situation, protesters continue to take to the streets across France every weekend for demonstrators to express their discontent with government's policies.

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    Tags:
    yellow vests, yellow vest, Yellow Vest protests, Yellow Vests Protests, Eric Drouet, France
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