French newsman may be tried
PARIS- A French reporter arrested by the Taliban may be put on trial in the next few days, his employer said.
Alain Genestar, managing director of weekly magazine Paris Match, said he understood that detained journalist Michel Peyrard would probably face a Shari at court in Jalalabad.
Paris Match executives recently returned from Pakistan where they and officials of the French media rights watchdog Reporters sans Frontieres (RSF) met Taliban officials to try to obtain Peyrard’s release.
Peyrard, 44, was arrested on Oct 9 near Jalalabad disguised under a burqa.
He was accused of spying, an offence punishable by death, though Paris Match and RSF said it was not clear whether Peyrard would formally be charged with espionage.
“Yesterday we had understood that the spy charges had been dropped, but this morning things are not clear,” Genestar said.
Paris Match and RSF both said their information on plans or a trial came from a Pakistani journalist.
The journalist quoted Taliban officials as saying investigations against Peyrard and two Pakistani colleagues, Irfan Qureshi and Mukarram Khan, had been concluded and their case would be sent to trial “in he next two to three days”.