Antifascist Extremists Sentenced for Million Euro Arson of French Train
Two men, who are part of the far-left anarchist scene in France, have been fined 180,000 euros for setting a railway locomotive on fire and causing well over a million euros in damage.
The men, aged 20 and 34, are said to have caused a total of 1,267,000 euros ($1.4 million) of damages after breaking into and burning a locomotive from a railyard in the city of Yvelines in November of last year, French news website Actu reports.
The pair are said to be well-known far-left anarchist extremists and have previously been involved in several Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) demonstrations in the past. According to investigators, the pair were looking to steal objects to take to a future demonstration.
Many have claimed far-left extremists were behind much of the violence in the early weeks of the Yellow Vest protests in Paris including former populist MP Marion Marechal.
“When I arrived on the Champs-Élysées, the real ‘Yellow Vests’ were long gone. The movement was totally absorbed by left-wing activists. We heard: ‘death to capitalism!’ If this is the far-right, it has changed,” she said.
The two anarchists were arrested after one of them left a jacket at the scene and DNA was gathered from it that helped identify one of the men. While both acknowledged they had broken into the train, neither claimed any knowledge of the fire.
The public prosecutor in the case, however, claimed that the men had set the train on fire as a means to cover their tracks.
The lawyer for the two men said that one of his clients was “drawn to political movements and causes that he does not understand.”
The pair were ultimately found guilty, fined 180,000 euros and were sentenced to two years and 30 months in prison respectively with some time suspended in each case.
The sentences come only days after French authorities arrested several far-left Antifa extremists they allege were plotting to set a hotel full of police officers on fire during this weekends G7 summit.