• France's news in English

Al-Jazeera journalist in court over drone flight

AFP/The Local · 26 Feb 2015, 14:02

Published: 26 Feb 2015 14:02 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The other two journalists have been freed. All three were arrested on Wednesday for flying a drone in the Bois de Boulogne park on the western edge of the French capital.

Their arrest followed two nights of mysterious drone sightings over the French capital, although a source with knowledge of the case said the journalists were not involved in the earlier incidents.

Those unexplained sightings were made near the US embassy, not far from the Invalides military museum, the Eiffel Tower and several major thoroughfares leading in and out of the French capital, police said.

Flying drones over the capital is illegal under French law.

The names and nationalities of the three journalists from Al-Jazeera's international service, two of whom were freelancers, were not given. They are aged 34, 52 and 68.

They are thought to have been filming a segment on drones.

Only the journalist who actually flew the drone will face court, where he will plead guilty, the judicial source said.

The drone, which was supplied by the station's London office in November, has been confiscated.

READ ALSO: How can France stop the attack of the drones?

Multiple drone sightings

A police source said witnesses and security forces reported at least five sightings overnight Tuesday to Wednesday over central Paris -- that may have been the same drone or several.

The tiny aircraft were spotted near the US embassy, not far from the Invalides military museum, the Eiffel Tower and several major thoroughfares leading in and out of the French capital, the source added.

Story continues below…

Authorities have been left scratching their heads as they remain unable to catch any of the operators or determine whether the flyovers are the work of pranksters, tourists or something more malicious.

There were five separate drone flights over parts of Paris the previous night.

"People should not be worried but vigilant, it's an issue which is taken very seriously," government spokesman Stephane Le Foll told reporters, adding that a probe was under way to find the operators.

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

UK border must move back, says 'next French president'
Photo: AFP

If favourite Alain Juppé is elected, Britain and France are in for some difficult negotiations.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available