Greek trial of French news photographer delayed

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A French news photographer who was arrested for assaulting a Greek coast guard officer said his trial was now being postponed.

4 September 2008

ATHENS -- The trial of a French news photographer arrested in early July for allegedly assaulting a Greek coast guard officer was postponed Wednesday for scheduling reasons, the accused said.

The case will now be heard in January as the court in the western port of Patras had too many other trials on its daily slate, photographer Olivier Jobart told AFP.

Jobart, 38, was arrested on 5 July while working on a story about the fate of thousands of illegal immigrants, mainly Iraqis and Afghans, who flock to the western Greek port of Patras hoping to continue their journey to the West.

He spent a night in custody and was charged with assault and failing to obey the authorities, his lawyer said.

The coast guard officer who arrested Jobart claims the Sipa Press Agency photographer hit him when he told him he was in a part of the port where pictures are forbidden.

The port of Patras handles the bulk of shipping traffic to Italy.

Greece, on the southeastern edge of the European Union, is facing an influx of Asian and African immigrants by land and by sea. Most have come through Turkey.

The Greek authorities strictly enforce bans on photography in military zones and reserves, but the port's police are regularly accused of using undue force in doing so.

[AFP / Expatica]

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