COMPIEGNE, France – Conservative French presidential candidate Francois Fillon wants to prosecute 16 and 17-year-olds as adults, arguing it would prevent the kind of unrest that has rocked low-income Paris suburbs following an alleged police rape.
With his campaign struggling under corruption allegations, Fillon sought to burnish his tough-on-security image Wednesday with proposals likely to please far-right voters.
He complained that many minors were involved in the recent suburban unrest, but said they are "virtually untouchable because the law protects them more than their victims."
Fillon did not mention the incident that prompted the disturbances: an alleged rape of a young black man by police in the Paris suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois.
Protests against police violence erupted in other towns, and crowds gathered in Paris on Wednesday to call for justice for the man.