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Geneva G-8 protesters freed by courts

Arrests during the anti-G8 protests in Geneva

(Keystone)

All 33 protesters arrested in Geneva during disturbances at the G-8 summit have been released after receiving suspended sentences.

Magistrates, who denied accusations of leniency, said the punishments fitted the crimes committed on June 1.

"The people I charged with rioting were not those who played the greatest roles," said Geneva magistrate Leonardo Malfanti.

Malfanti described most of those sentenced on Tuesday as "profiteers" who looted city centre stores after other protesters smashed shop windows.

Only one of the looters was handed a six-month suspended sentence - the maximum penalty at the disposal of the courts.

Another offender received a 30-day suspended sentence for hurling stones at police officers.

Malfanti and fellow magistrate Yves Aeschlimann insisted that the penalties corresponded to the severity of the crimes committed.

But both magistrates stressed that the police investigation into the incidents was not yet over and that the ringleaders were still being pursued.

Malfanti said that the investigation was likely be difficult because those involved tended to change their appearance shortly after incidents.

According to Geneva police chief Christian Cudré-Mauroux, the majority of those involved came from the Swiss capital, Bern.

Clashes

Violence took place both in Geneva and Lausanne on the sidelines of the main anti-G-8 demonstrations in both cities.

Some incidents, such as the smashing of windows and looting in Geneva, were reported after a march involving around 30,000 people.

Although the protest was mainly peaceful, police appeared in force when the protesters returned to Geneva.

Clashes between some protesters and police ensued for nine hours, with officers dispersing crowds with water cannon and rubber bullets.

The marchers had been protesting against the G-8 summit of world leaders which took place from June 1-3 in the French town of Evian, just across the border with Switzerland.

swissinfo with agencies

In brief

All the protesters arrested in Geneva during the G-8 summit have been released.

The 33 adults have been given suspended sentences of varying lengths.

One magistrate described most of the offenders as "profiteers" and not the main protagonists behind the violence.

Marchers protested in Geneva against the G-8 summit of world leaders which took palce from June 1-3 in the French town of Evian, just across the border with Switzerland.

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