French energy giant denies it spied on Greenpeace

ÉDF's Paris HQ

ÉDF's Paris HQ

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Earlier this month, intelNews reported that senior security officials at France’s state-owned electricity service provider were among several people charged by French authorities with spying on Greenpeace and other environmental groups. Now, several days after the launch of an official investigation into the matter, the company, Électricité de France (ÉDF), continues to blame the scandal on renegade and overzealous security personnel. Speaking to French newspaper Le Monde on April 21, ÉDF’s director of security, Jean-Marc Sabathé, insisted that the company’s senior management had not been consulted about the spying operation. ÉDF has already suspended two security officials, Pierre Durieux and Pierre Francois, who hired private investigations firm Kargus Consultant to infiltrate environmental organizations that oppose the expansion of ÉDF’s nuclear energy reactor plants throughout France. Kargus Consultant director Thierry Lorho is also among several individuals who have been indicted in the affair. Last week, the energy giant even petitioned the court to be considered a victim, instead of a culprit, in the case. But the court promptly rejected ÉDF’s request. Greenpeace, on the other hand, has requested that the investigation be widened to include possible spying operations directed against Greenpeace branches outside France, particularly in Britain, Spain and Belgium, where ÉDF participates in energy partnerships.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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