France

Former French spy chief fined for snooping on reporter's phone records

Bernard Squarcini
Bernard Squarcini Reuters

A former French spy chief was fined 8,000 euros, more than the prosecutor called for, for checking the phone records of a journalist to try to find a leak that could have embarassed former president Nicolas Sarkozy's government on Tuesday.

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The court fined Bernard Squarcini, head of the DCRI internal intelligence service, 8,000

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euros, more than the 5,000 euros proposed by the public prosecutor, for having checked the phone records of reporters onLe Monde newspaper in an attempt to try to find who was leaking information that could have compromised former budget minister Eric Woerth.

It also ordered him to pay 7,000 euros in damages to the paper and a journalists' union.

Squarcini admitted asking for the records but claimed his action was justified by reasons of state security but the court found that the motivation was a purely political attempt to protect Woerth and Sarkozy from one of several scandals affecting their government.
 

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