High-profile ex-French spy allegedly indicted for complicity in attempted extortion

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Bernard Bajolet, the former director-general of France’s foreign intelligence service, was charged last October for his role in an attempted extortion of 15 million euros against a French-Swiss businessman, according to the “AFP, confirming an investigation by Le Monde published on Wednesday.

In March 2016, Alain Duménil, a 73-year-old entrepreneur involved in several court cases, was arrested by border police before boarding at a Paris airport, and led to two DGSE agents. , reports Le Monde.

Agents told the businessman he owed the French state 15 million euros, and Duménil claimed they threatened him with bodily harm and showed him pictures of his family.

Bajolet, who was then head of the DGSE, says he authorized the operation, but denies the threat allegations. The interview, he claims, was conducted only to get hold of Duménil’s lawyers about a lawsuit involving the contractor.

According to the two French media, the agency accuses the businessman of having embezzled 15 million euros in secret funds from the DGSE in the early 2000s through a complex financial operation. Since the end of World War I, the DGSE has managed a secret war chest that was initially funded by the French state and is believed to have run into trouble over the past two decades due to poor investment.

Bajolet was indicted by a French judge in October 2022 for complicity in attempted extortion and for “arbitrary interference with individual liberty by a person holding public authority in the same matter,” according to Le Monde and the AFP.


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