Police, TV crew charged over filming of arrests

In an extreme interpretation of a law against intrusive media coverage of crime suspects, 11 policemen and a TV station’s camera crew were charged yesterday after the mass Athens arrest of pirated CD vendors was filmed without the suspects’ prior consent. The police officers allegedly facilitated the filming, by the private Alter TV station, of the arrest of 10 Nigerian CD vendors for breaches of copyright and trading laws. Alter TV, which screened the scenes on its news program yesterday, will also be prosecuted. Under a widely ignored law of 1993, crime suspects must not be filmed or photographed against their will at any point following their arrest and until they are found guilty in court. At the end of September, an Athens prosecutor called for the law to be strictly enforced, noting that «public viewing of suspects on television is a form of informal conviction.»

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