British Al Jazeera journalist Tristan Redman was fined 1,000 euros (about $1,120) for flying a drone in Paris last week, the Agence France Presse reported.
The maximum penalty was one-year in prison and a 75,000 Euro fine, according to the Associated Press.
Three Al Jazeera journalists were detained and released last week by Paris police, as iMediaEthics reported. Al Jazeera said the three were working on a news report about drones.
“Three Al Jazeera English journalists have been released after being held overnight by the police in Paris following filming a report on the city’s recent mystery drones,” Al Jazeera said. The so-called mystery drones were seen flying near Paris sites like the Opera and the Eiffel Tower. Paris prosecutor spokesperson Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre told the New York Times last week that “one mustn’t conflate” the drone flights near landmarks and the Al Jazeera drone.
“The two others were released and Redman pleaded guilty to flying a drone over the capital, which is illegal under French law,” the AFP reported.
In addition, their drone was “confiscated,” the AP reported.
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According to the Guardian, “Redman received the drone from the station’s London bureau in November and was compiling a package on drone flights with the help of two freelancers, one British and one Belgian.”
Redman’s lawyer, Francis Szpiner, criticized the fine as “disproportionate.”
“These were just journalists who wanted to do their job,” Szpiner told AFP.
iMediaEthics has written to Al Jazeera, Redman, and Szpiner for comment.
UPDATED 3/3/2015: 2:49 PM EST With more information