Greenpeace demand extradition of Royal

Greenpeace demand extradition of Royal

Sunday October 1, 2006
By Stephen Cook

Greenpeace New Zealand is demanding the extradition of the brother of French presidential hopeful Segolene Royal after claims yesterday that he “planted” the bomb on the Rainbow Warrior two decades ago.

Greenpeace executive director Bunny McDiarmid - who was one of the crew on the Rainbow Warrior the day it was bombed in 1985 - has called on the Government to extradite and charge Gerard Royal with murder, saying that only then could “justice be done”.

“It seems there is some terrorism that is OK and some that is not. This was state terrorism, and it was apparently OK. Anyone who was involved with the bombing should face a murder charge,” she said. “He [Royal] will burn in hell for what he did.”

In the French Le Parisien newspaper yesterday, Antoine Royal, another brother of Segolene, claimed that Gerard was a member of the French intelligence sabotage squad who put bombs on the Rainbow Warrior.

“At the time, [Gerard] was a lieutenant and agent of the DGSE [intelligence agency] in Asia. He was asked in 1985 to go to New Zealand, to Auckland harbour, to sabotage the Rainbow Warrior,” Antoine said.

"Later he told me that it was he who planted the bomb on the Greenpeace ship. He took a small craft with a second person to approach the boat.

“He was able to escape the New Zealand authorities, unlike the false Turenge couple who were arrested. My sister learnt that he was present during the operation from a recent article in the press.”

The Government would not comment yesterday on the latest developments in the Rainbow Warrior case, but Jim Anderton, who was a member of the Government’s foreign affairs select committee in 1985, said there would be a reluctance to act on what was essentially hearsay.

“If someone has committed a serious criminal offence … and they can be brought to justice with strong evidence, they should be. I am not resiling from that. But evidence is required, not just one family member saying something against another.”

The French revelations coincide with the screening tonight on TVNZ’s Sunday programme of the two French spies Alain Mafart and Dominique Prieur pleading guilty to the manslaughter of Fernando Pereira, a Greenpeace photographer and father of two. The 1985 bombing sank the Greenpeace vessel and killed Pereira.

The pair, posing as a married couple under the false name Turenge, were later arrested by NZ police and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

However, French pressure, including trade sanctions, resulted in a deal where Mafart and Prieur spent about six months in a New Zealand prison before being transferred for three years to an island in French Polynesia, where Prieur’s husband was made head of security.

Both returned to France less than two years later, Mafart supposedly due to illness and Prieur because her father was said to be dying of cancer. New Zealand police have said members of a four-man squad suspected of actually planting the mines are still at large.

Segolene Royal is the socialist frontrunner for France’s presidential election next year.

McDiarmid said Greenpeace believed there would never be justice against those responsible.

“It [justice] will not happen through the legal system in New Zealand because of the political arrangements that happened after the bombing. They know nobody is going to touch them. They got away with murder.”

She said Pereira’s widow and daughter were now living overseas and were “as frustrated as anyone” over the Government’s impotence in dealing with the bombers.

Monday October 2, 2006
By Catherine Field

PARIS - The Government will not seek extradition of the man believed to have planted the limpet mines that sank the Rainbow Warrior.

Prime Minister Helen Clark’s office said yesterday the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade had advised that in 1991 then Attorney-General Paul East stayed “all outstanding charges”, in the country’s national interest.

“This followed a Cabinet decision to not seek extradition of an agent with alleged involvement who had been arrested in Switzerland. The Government of the day accepted that the Rainbow Warrior bombing was resolved,” the Prime Minister’s office said.

The decision comes after weekend revelations that Frenchman Gerard Royal - the brother of France’s likely next President, Segolene Royal - was a prime suspect in the 1985 bombing of the Greenpeace ship in Auckland.

Greenpeace executive director Bunny McDiarmid - a Rainbow Warrior crew member the day it was bombed - said it was not worthwhile pursuing extradition. She believed there was little hope the French secret agents who carried out the bombing would be brought to justice.

She said whoever did the bombing was getting away with murder.

"It seems that there are two types of terrorists these days; the state terrorists being the ones who get away with it.

"Next year is the 20th anniversary of our nuclear-free legislation.

"The best thing our Government can do is to keep that legislation strong and push for international nuclear disarmament.

“This is the issue Greenpeace was working on then - and still is now.”

And New Zealand would face an enormous hurdle in assembling sufficient evidence for extradition, French sources said at the weekend.

Any extradition bid could revive the tensions with France that followed the 1985 bombing.

Segolene Royal’s younger brother, Antoine Royal, told the daily le Parisien that Gerard was a member of the sabotage squad that sank the Greenpeace flagship in Auckland.

It is the first public identification of a suspected member of the notorious four-man “third team” which took part in the operation but was able to flee New Zealand, thwarting the dragnet that trapped Alain Mafart and Dominique Prieur.

Antoine Royal said: "At the time Gerard was a lieutenant and agent of the DGSE [the French foreign intelligence agency] in Asia. He was asked in 1985 to go to New Zealand … to sabotage the Rainbow Warrior.

“Later he told me that it was he who planted the bomb on the Greenpeace ship. He took a small craft with a second person to approach the boat. He was able to escape the New Zealand authorities.”

The daily Liberation said Gerard Royal’s codename in so-called Operation Satanic was “Derrick”. Royal left the DGSE many years ago, transferring to the private sector.

The disclosure coincided with the screening of a TVNZ documentary into Mafart and Prieur as they pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Greenpeace photographer Fernando Pereira.

In France, it happened just as Segolene Royal, 53, who is the Socialist Party’s frontrunner, formally announced her candidacy for the elections due in seven months.

The party is to vote on its presidential candidates on November 16.

This timing clearly stokes the level of political discomfort both in France and New Zealand.

In Paris, sources say there is no traction to take any moves toward extradition beyond the stage of clamour.

“Legally, nothing’s going to happen, because you won’t get the material proof of [Gerard] Royal’s involvement,” said a senior intelligence source.

That point of view was indirectly supported in New Zealand by Jim Anderton, who was a member of the Government’s foreign affairs select committee in 1985.

“Evidence is required, not just one family member saying something against another,” said Mr Anderton.

And in France, the Rainbow Warrior bombing is viewed distantly, as an ill-starred act of state that happened more than 20 years ago, and not with the same lingering sense of outrage as in New Zealand, where it was the first act of foreign terrorism.

Some French people are angry at their Government’s arrogance and the coverup. But it would be fair to say that most have consigned the operation to history, given that France apologised, paid compensation and the President under whom it all happened, Francois Mitterrand, has been in his grave for more than a decade.

Indeed, the intelligence source argues that “a majority [of people] … probably supported the operation and only regret that we had to say sorry to the New Zealanders about it”.

As a result, the political energies that might force a French Government to open an investigation into Gerard Royal, especially if his sister is in the Elysee presidential palace, are quite simply are not there.

“You can create a political scandal about this in New Zealand but not in France,” the source observed.

Helen Clark is due to visit France next month, but a French diplomatic source predicted that neither side would be keen to let Rainbow Warrior intrude on bilateral ties that have become surprisingly warm in the past two years, with closer co-operation in the South Pacific and multiplying academic and cultural exchanges.

Admiral Pierre Lacoste, who was head of the DGSE at the time and ordered the Rainbow Warrior operation, told the Herald that he could not comment on the report in the Parisien.

The French Foreign Ministry also declined to respond.

  • Additional reporting Herald staff

Of course in France, it’s an ‘explosive’ issue. Some of the other Government secret agents are upset because the agent in question had gotten the assignment ahead of them when he was only 24 and didn’t have all his bombing credentials and certifications.
Ever vigilant, the federation will allow the agent to do a ‘make-up test’ - but not inside France!.
Thank heavens we’re in sports where we don’t have such petty goings-on!

:stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue:

Why? Did something else come to mind??

Yes, uncanny parallel to PJ’s situation dealing with the French coaching hierarchy. Although he is 25. No coaching qualifications. That’s OK so long as you fuck up some other country’s athlete. Try a Nigerian. Ohhh, you say Fasuba ran what? 9.84! Damn, now the shit is (also) really gonna fly. How dare you now take on Ronald Pognon. He might run 9.8 and then where would we be!

Rainbow Warrior bombing ‘detestable’, says Royal

9.40am Thursday October 5, 2006

French presidential hopeful Segolene Royal has said her brother’s alleged role in the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland Harbour was a “detestable act”.

It has been claimed Royal’s brother Gerard was one of the French intelligence agents involved in the 1985 bombing in which a photographer on the Greenpeace ship died. The revelation came in an interview with another brother, Antoine, last week.

The Associated Press news agency today quoted Royal as saying: “I have a brother, who 20 years ago was a soldier, a frogman, for whom I have a lot of admiration. He was indeed involved in a detestable act. But he had received orders for that.”

She added in an interview on the TF1 television channel: “Fortunately, the nuclear tests stopped. But clearly, and unfortunately, a person died.”

Royal said she did not know of her brother’s secret role at the time.

“The irony in this story is that I favoured Greenpeace’s action against the nuclear tests,” she said.

Earlier this week Royal suggested the revelations were part of a smear campaign against her.

Gerard Royal has said he has never spoken about whether he was involved in the operation or not, and he never will.

Prime Minister Helen Clark has ruled out re-opening the case, citing a decision by the Attorney-General in 1991 to rule out further charges.

Royal is a Socialist Party candidate who is performing strongly in the polls ahead of the election next year.