Judges protest closes French courts
Published 10/02/2011 | 09:42
Protesting judges and magistrates have shut down almost all of France's courthouses in a stand-off with President Nicolas Sarkozy and the government.
Most courts have been hearing only urgent cases for days.
A protest march by judges is planned later in the western city of Nantes.
Magistrates are angry about Mr Sarkozy's comments on a high-profile case.
After a young waitress disappeared and parts of her body were found in a pond, Mr Sarkozy branded the suspect in the case "presumed guilty" even before trial.
Mr Sarkozy also complained of incompetence by magistrates who failed to assign a probation officer to the suspect, who had 15 convictions on his record and had recently been released from prison.