Gilets jaunes face prosecution after French péage fire

Eight gilets jaunes protesters are on remand awaiting trial in connection with a fire that destroyed a péage in Narbonne last December.

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Six more people have been placed under judicial control in connection with the incident, as investigations continue.

All of those under investigation - of which there are 12 men and two women - are either residents of Narbonne or the wider Aude region.

The fire happened on the night of December 1. Around 200 people, including some claiming to be gilets jaunes protesters, showed up at the south péage barrier with Molotov cocktails, following an earlier protest.

The péage barriers - 15 in total - were left severely damaged by fire, alongside damage to the regional management offices and 33 incident response vehicles.

Vinci Autoroutes, the company that manages the péage, confirmed that it required total reconstruction before it could re-open.

The Narbonne authorities are seeking prosecutions for several alleged charges, some of which amount to criminal damage.

These include “damage or vandalism in an organised group, with a dangerous method”.

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