10 November 2011

Jail for EDF Greenpeace spies

26 years ago the French government committed an act of terrorism against Greenpeace. An operation sanctioned by the French Government to destroy the original Rainbow Warrior which led to death of photographer Fernando Pereira.

The Guardian reports that French state owned (well 85% owned) energy company EDF was fined €1.5m and had an executive director sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday, on charges of spying on Greenpeace.

A court in Nanterre sentenced the second in command of nuclear safety, Pierre-Paul François, to three years' imprisonment, with 30 month suspended.  The head of nuclear safety, Pascal Durieux, three years' imprisonment, two years suspended and a €10,000 fine for commissioning the spying operation.

The company has also been ordered to pay €500,000 in damages to Greenpeace.

The judge also handed down a guilty verdict in the case of Thierry Lorho, the head of Kargus, the company employed by EDF to hack into the computers of Greenpeace. He has been sentenced to three years in jail, with two suspended and a €4,000 fine.

In 2006, EDF hired a private detective agency called Kargus Consultants, run by a former member of the French secret services, to find out more about Greenpeace France's intentions and its plans to block new nuclear in the UK. The agency hacked the computer of Yannick Jadot, Greenpeace's then campaigns director, taking 1,400 documents from his computer.

An EDF official had no immediate comment. During the trial, EDF said that it was the victim of overzealous efforts to find out what Greenpeace was doing and the company was unaware anyone would hack into a computer at Greenpeace.
The case has sparked outrage among anti-nuclear campaigners in France whose secret services were behind the bombing of the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior 26 years ago. Moreover, safety has become a greater concern in France since Japan's Fukushima atomic disaster.

Speaking from alongside the new Rainbow Warrior, currently on its maiden voyage and docked in London, Greenpeace UK's executive director, John Sauven, said: "The evidence presented at the trial showed that the espionage undertaken by EDF in its efforts to discredit Greenpeace was both extensive and totally illegal. The company should now give a full account of the spying operation it mounted against its critics. As one of the six companies with a monopoly over electricity supply in this country and a major sponsor of the Olympics, EDF has a duty to come clean. The length of the sentences handed down shows just how seriously the judge views what the French state owned company did."

Thse sentences are totally justifiable. Perhaps it is time for France to bring to justice all of those involved in the death of Pereira. I don't agree with all of Greenpeace's actions but the espionage conducted by EDF was an tter disgrace.

On the subject of espionage I look forward to many News International employees becoming guests of Her Majesty in the near future.


susan said...

This is good news but, like you, I'd like to see many more prosecutions for high crimes.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Espionage aside, the people who blew up that boat should also do some serious time.

jams o donnell said...

I agree totally Susan!

Definitely. Whether you like Greenpeace or not what the French Govt did in 85 was an act of terrorism