Freed French teacher: Sarkozy thanks Brazil, Senegal, Syria

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France's President Nicolas Sarkozy thanked the leaders of Brazil, Senegal and Syria on Sunday for their "active role" in securing Iran's release of a young French academic accused of spying.

Welcoming 24-year-old Clotilde Reiss to his office at the Elysee Palace, Sarkozy paid tribute to the assistance he said France was given by presidents Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Abdoulaye Wade and Bashar al-Assad.

Reiss was arrested in July last year as she attempted to leave Tehran, accused of spying on anti-government demonstrations and paraded on a televised show trial. She was released Saturday after her lawyer paid a huge fine.

Appearing before reporters at the Elysee, the young woman thanked Sarkozy for having protested her innocence during her ordeal, during which she spent six weeks in jail before being allowed to stay at the French embassy.

© 2010 AFP

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