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Venezuela frees, expels U.S. filmmaker

By Mariano Castillo, CNN
June 5, 2013 -- Updated 1259 GMT (2059 HKT)
Filmmaker Timothy Tracy has been released from prison in Venezuela, his attorney says.
Filmmaker Timothy Tracy has been released from prison in Venezuela, his attorney says.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Timothy Tracy was accused of fomenting unrest in Venezuela
  • He was filming a documentary there
  • His lawyer says there was lack of evidence and Tracy was freed

(CNN) -- A U.S. filmmaker arrested in Venezuela and accused of instigating unrest was released from prison and expelled from the country, his attorney told CNN affiliate Globovision.

Timothy Tracy was on a flight to Miami Wednesday morning, attorney Daniel Rosales said.

Tracy, 35, of Los Angeles, was arrested in April at the Caracas airport as he prepared to leave the country. He was accused of funding opponents of President Nicolas Maduro, successor to the late Hugo Chavez.

His lawyer said he was released because there was not sufficient evidence to hold him.

Venezuelan Minister of Interior and Justice Miguel Rodriguez confirmed the release on his Twitter account, but maintained that Tracy was "captured doing espionage in our country."

The filmmaker was in Venezuela to make a documentary about the political division gripping the country.

Press freedom groups and the U.S. government denied that Tracy was involved in any anti-government activities.

"Tracy was just acting as an observer when he was filming," Reporters Without Borders said when he was arrested. "Shooting video is not evidence of participation in what the government calls an 'act of destabilization.' It is for the police and judicial authorities to investigate and establish from the facts, not for the government to designate Tracy as guilty from the outset."

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