France - 
Article published the Friday 13 August 2010 - Latest update : Friday 13 August 2010

Togo video officer punished

Lt-Col Romuald Letondot caught on video
YouTube

By RFI

The French military has punished an officer caught on video trying to intimidate a Togolese press photographer. Lieutenant-Colonel Romuald Letondot has been disciplined for bringing the army into disrepute.

Letondot, whose threats to destroy the journalist's camera and call in the Togo presidential guard were filmed and posted on YouTube, has been recalled to Paris and grounded for ten days.

He will continue to carry out the functions of a serving soldier but be forbidden to leave the area where his unit is based.

His tour of duty was set to end in a few weeks time.

On Thursday he apologised personally to photographer Didier Ledoux at the French embassy.

The army was right to dissociate itself from his actions, he told l'Express magazine. But he claimed that the incident took place when he asked local police to help him after his car had been attacked by oppositon supporters and that he feared that the photo would be misinterpreted if published.

 

tags: Colonialism - Photography - Press freedom - Racism - Togo
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