The Guardian, “Leftwing ‘anarchist terror cell’ is fiction, French judges rule “

French judges have acquitted eight people accused of being part of an anarchist group that attempted to sabotage part of France’s high-speed rail network a decade ago, ruling that the group itself had been a “fiction”.

Defence lawyers had accused the government and authorities under the former rightwing president Nicolas Sarkozy of wrongly claiming there was a hotbed of leftwing anarchist terrorists in a sleepy village in central France and manipulating the case in order to look tough.

The notorious case, known as the Tarnac affair, began in November 2008 when more than a hundred French police officers swooped on the tiny rural village of Tarnac, arresting anti-capitalists who were living on a communal farm and running a village shop. In a vast media operation, the then rightwing government and French authorities alleged that the so-called Tarnac Nine were a cell of dangerous subversives intent on anarchist armed insurrection to overthrow the state.

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