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Paedophile general's sentence scandalous, says National Front
The French far-right party, the National Front, has slammed a suspended sentence given to a general accused of downloading thousands of paedo-pornographic images. Raymond Germanos was given a 10 month suspended sentence after being caught with compromising images of children and babies as young as six months.
"A 10-month suspended sentence is a seal of approval by the justice system of Mr Germanos's appalling behaviour," said Marine Le Pen, the vice-president of the National Front.
The party, which accuses President Nicolas Sarkozy of stealing many of its tough-on-crime and anti-immigration policies, dubbed the court's decision "scandalous".
The 69-year-old general was sentenced Tuesday in Paris's criminal court under the judge Marie-Françoise Guidolin. He had over 3,000 images of children aged between six months and 12-years-old being sexually abused. Guidolin said they were among the most hardcore the court had ever seen, but the defendant said he had looked at the images and not kept them.
Germanos attributed his collection to a brain tumour. The five-star general underwent an operation for a tumour in 1981 and 2006. He argued that the end of 2005, which was when he began looking at the pictures, corresponded to the moment when the tumour was at its most developed.
He has to pay one euro in damages and interest to each of three child protection agencies.They had demanded 25,000 euros in total damages.
The neurosurgeon, Michel Desgeorges, testified on the defendant's behalf.
"We all, men and women, have fantasies, urges,' he said. "A tumour can release the brakes."