February 10, 2017 / 8:45 AM / 10 months ago

French farmer who helped migrants cross from Italy gets suspended fine

NICE, France (Reuters) - A French farmer who brought illegal migrants into France from Italy was handed a 3,000 euros (2,559 pounds) suspended fine on Friday for his actions.

Cedric Herrou, a French farmer and volunteer helping migrants cross French-Italian border to avoid police controls, reacts after he was handed a 3,000 euros ($3,192) suspended fine for his actions at the courthouse in Nice, France, February 10, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Cedric Herrou, from the Roya valley region on the border between the two countries, has became a household name in France - applauded by some for his conduct while criticised by others.

Immigration is a hot-button French political issue in a presidential election year, with many voters worried by the influx of people fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.

Herrou has been lauded as a hero, however, among people who see what he has done as a purely humanitarian gesture, and he has vowed to continue his actions.

The Nice prosecutor had asked for an eight month suspended sentence.

Reporting by Matthias Galante; Writing by Andrew Callus; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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