Arrested Swiss reporter can leave Thailand

13th March 2009, Comments 0 comments

A Thai court allows Christopher Muller to return to Switzerland until his hearing.

BANGKOK - A Thai court agreed Thursday to allow a Swiss journalist arrested for misrepresentation to leave the country until his next court hearing.

Christopher Muller, a producer for TV station SF, part of Swiss National Television, was arrested when he entered Thailand on 27 February. He was released on bail after being detained for 24 hours, but his passport was taken and he was not allowed to leave the country.

The TV station said in a statement that Muller was arrested on a defamation complaint by a Thai children's charity which was the subject of a documentary he made in 2002 for Swiss National Television. The report alleged possible misrepresentation by the charity and a Swiss expatriate who worked with it.

The station said a court in the Thai resort city of Pattaya ruled that Muller must attend the next hearing in early April, but until then could return to Switzerland. He is not yet formally charged, and the court hearings are required to allow police to continue their investigation.

"We are relieved that Christoph Muller may leave the country and resume his work here with us," the station's editor in chief of news and current affairs, Ueli Haldimann, said in the statement. "Muller and Swiss National Television will cooperate with the Thai authourities. We are sure that all the allegations will soon vanish into thin air."

AP / Expatica

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