investigation opened after a report by Hugo Clément

The journalist, climate defender, and his teams were the subject of a police check near the Air Liquide industrial site in Seine-Maritime after a drone flew over this prohibited area.

By Le Figaro with AFP

Published update

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Journalist Hugo Clement. Screenshot France television.

Justice has opened an investigation after the overflight of a prohibited area by a drone used by the journalist Hugo Clement (On the front) during a report on the hydrogen production by Air Liquide in Seine-Maritime, said the prosecutor of Le Havre on Wednesday. In a video posted on his Instagram account on Tuesday, the journalist, a declared environmental protection activist, announced that he had been the subject of a police check near the Air Liquide industrial site in Port-Jérôme-sur-Seine. (Seine Maritime). In particular, he showed the seizure of equipment by a “substitute prosecutor” in the trunk of a car, surrounded by police vehicles.

“Refusal upon refusal”

“We sent filming requests, without success. Refusal upon refusal. So we came anyway, without permission,” he says. According to a police source, the team, made up of Hugo Clément and two other people, was seen filming Air Liquide’s “Seveso” classified site in Port-Jérôme, located in a vast complex housing many other chemical and petroleum facilities, such as the Esso refinery. The site security service alerted the police who intervened. The journalists not having a filming authorization and a drone being visible in their vehicle, they warned the prosecution.

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“The Code of Criminal Procedure requires that searches of the premises of a press company or the professional vehicles of these companies be carried out by a magistrate”explained to AFP the public prosecutor of Le Havre, Bruno Dieudonné. “A substitute came to the scene for this purpose. Two drones equipped with cameras have been seized and will be operated. as part of an investigation “open for overflight by an aircraft of a prohibited area, an offense punishable by one year’s imprisonment and a fine of 45,000 euros”he says. “There was no custody measure and the people held on the spot by the security service and checked by the police will be heard later”adds Bruno Dieudonné.

” READ ALSO – Hugo Clément (“On the front”): “I highlight whistleblowers who, themselves, expose themselves to consequences”

Questioned by AFP, the company Air Liquide “confirms having been contacted by the team of “Sur le Front”, and having answered their questions in detail”. The company, which says it has no intention of filing a complaint, “recalls that the Port-Jérôme site has been open to the press on numerous occasions”. Asked, Hugo Clément did not wish to give more details. “We will tell everything in detail in our program “Sur le front””on France 5, he wrote in an email.

TO HAVE ALSO – Gironde: a parcel delivered by drone stuck in the nets of the Bordeaux-Gradignan prison

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