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France 7 December 2007

Journalist freed after being charged with revealing defence secrets

Guillaume Dasquié, the editor of the Gé website, was released last night after being charged with “possessing information or files that are national defence secrets and revealing them to the public.” It carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros.

Dasquié in now “under judicial control.” An anti-terrorism judge, Philippe Coirre, has been put in charge of the case.

Reporters Without Borders continues to regard the judicial procedures being taken against Dasquié as improper. He was just doing his job as a journalist and should not held responsible for leaks from within the government.

6 December 2007

Counter-espionage police hold investigative journalist after searching his home for information about leaks

Reporters Without Borders condemns the search carried out on the home of investigative journalist Guillaume Dasquié, the founder and editor of the political news website, by a counter-espionage unit on 5 December and Dasquié’s detention since then.

“It is unprecedented and outrageous that counter-espionage police raided a journalist’s home at dawn, searched it for five hours and then took him into custody,” the press freedom organisation said. “A leak from within the intelligence services or the office of an investigative judge cannot not be blamed on the journalist who publishes the information, which in this case clearly deserved to made public. Dasquié just did his job and does not deserve to be treated like this.”

The search of Dasquié’s Paris home was carried out by six members of the Directorate for Territorial Surveillance (DST), who arrived at 7 a.m. and stayed until 1 p.m., when they took him back to their headquarters. They have been holding him there since under a form of police custody that cannot exceed an initial period of 48 hours. During the search, he was questioned about his sources for documents about the 1995 murder of French judge Bernard Borrel in Djibouti.

Paris prosecutors opened a preliminary investigation against Dasquié on 10 November 2006 on suspicion of “violating the confidentiality of a judicial investigation” and receiving stolen documents. The same day, plain-clothes police questioned him for 10 hours, trying to find out how he obtained documents from the Central Directorate for General Intelligence (DCRG) about Djibouti President Ismaël Omar Guelleh’s alleged involvement in illegal activity before he was president and his possible involvement in the French judge’s murder.

In the latest raid, the investigators were also reportedly also interested in an article published in Le Monde on 16 April of this year entitled “The French knew a lot about 9/11.” It quoted a “confidential defence report” by the General Directorate for External Security (DGSE) for “strictly national use,” which dated back to 2000 or 2001 and which spelled out what the French intelligence services knew about Al-Qaeda.

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