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.