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Last member of French documentary crew allowed to leave country after paying bail

(RSF/IFEX) - On 12 March 2008, Bernaud Chaudot, producer of the "Vu du Ciel" television programme on the public network France 2, returned to France after being authorised to leave Argentina in return for paying 10,000 euros in bail. He was part of photographer and documentary-maker Yann Arthus-Bertrand's film crew, a dozen members of which were arrested on 20 February in Puerto Iguazú in northeastern Argentina.

The travel agency that organised their trip filed a "fraud" complaint against the journalists, technicians and producer. Except for Bernard Chaudot, the crew was able to leave Argentina on 26 February. Yann Arthus-Bertrand and the programme's production company always denied any attempt at fraud and believe they were victims of a "frame-up" designed to impede their investigation into the effects of the construction of a dam in the region.

RSF welcomes the return of Bernard Chaudot and notes that at no time did the director of the travel agency behind the legal action against Yann Arthus-Bertrand and his crew appear before the judge.

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