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Man freed after French police stop him 10cm inside Spain

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Man freed after French police stop him 10cm inside Spain
Photo: AFP
14:37 CEST+02:00
What's in a few cm? Well the difference between being free and being locked up in a detention centre for one lucky Moroccan man.

An undocumented Moroccan immigrant without permission to be in France has been freed after it emerged French police had actually arrested him inside Spanish territory, albeit by only 10cm.

The incident happened at the border crossing near Perthus, not far from the town of Perpignan, in late August.

According to reports in France the Moroccan national was travelling from Spain through to France on a Eurolines bus, but was hauled off the vehicle at the border crossing by French police when it emerged he did not have the necessary visa to be in France.

He was placed in a detention centre.

But his lawyer Christopher Poloni successfully argued in court this week that the French police had literally overstepped the mark, although to be fair to them there was no actual mark.

Poloni demonstrated to the judges that the bus had been parked inside Spanish territory but an estimated 10cm.

Poloni explained that the border between France and Spain was determined by the 1659 treaty of the Pyrenees but it was not marked out on the actual ground.

Subsequent treaties decided that 602 markers would be planted at intervals along the border to indicate where the frontier was.

And the Eurolines bus had pulled up just too early. As a result the Moroccan was freed by the court.

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