By Umaru Fofana
In a ruling on Thursday, the court in the town of Bo found that the defendants, who include a former lawmaker and are members of a local landowners association, destroyed 40 palm oil trees belonging to Socfin in the Pujehun District.
An official with Luxemburg-based Socfin said thousands of trees had been damaged during the 2013 incident, but he did not provide a precise figure.
A growing number of African land lease deals for mining and agribusiness have provoked tensions for allegedly depriving often poor countries of the means to feed their own populations.
The six defendants, who received sentences ranging from five to six months in prison in addition to fines, were involved in organising protests against what they claimed were unduly low fees paid by Socfin for the land it used.