Page last updated at 09:00 GMT, Thursday, 7 May 2009 10:00 UK

Ivory Coast frees French reporter

Jean-Paul Ney after his release
Jean-Paul Ney was freed after considerable pressure from France

A French investigative journalist held for 16 months without trial in Ivory Coast has been released from prison.

Jean-Paul Ney was accused of being involved in an attempted coup.

He was arrested in December 2007 for having in his possession footage of French mercenaries and former Ivorian soldier discussing an attack.

The BBC's John James in the biggest city, Abidjan, says a court ordered Mr Ney's release following considerable pressure from the French government.

Our reporter says Mr Ney's footage was posted on the internet video site YouTube.

The revelations made in the several hours of video caused great excitement in the Ivorian press, he says.

It showed former Ivoirian sergeant Ibrahim Coulibaly, who had been involved in three previous coup attempts, discussing in vague terms an attack on Ivory Coast.

Mr Ney says he was investigating the networks between mercenaries, shady businessmen and corrupt politicians in France and its former colonies.

According to his lawyer, Mr Ney was released along with six West Africans who were arrested at the same time.

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