On August 30th, French Defense Minister Florence Parly said that a French senior military officer had been arrested under investigation for “serious security breaches.”
“What I can confirm is that a senior officer is facing legal proceedings for a security breach,” Parly said.
“We have implemented all the necessary safeguards,” Parly said.
According to Europe 1 radio this referred to French lieutenant colonel based in Italy and stationed with NATO is suspected of having transmitted sensitive documents to the Russian secret services.
The name of the officer is undisclosed.
A Europe 1 radio unnamed judicial source confirmed that a senior officer had been indicted on charges involving “intelligence with a foreign power that undermines the fundamental interests of the nation.”
He is being prosecuted for “delivering information to a foreign power” as well as “collecting information harming the fundamental interests of the nation with a view to delivering them to a foreign power” and “compromising the secrecy of national defence”, the source said.
The military official was arrested by DGSI intelligence service as he was about to leave for Italy at the end of his holidays in France and is being held at a prison in Paris.
Finally, according to yet another unnamed source, the official speaks Russian and was seen in Italy with a man identified as an agent of the GRU, the Russian military intelligence service.
The arrest comes a week after US authorities arrested a former Special Forces officer for sharing his unit’s activities with Russian intelligence.
According to prosecutors, the Green Beret serviceman, who had been stationed in Germany and Azerbaijan, “thought that the United States was too dominant in the world and needed to be cut down to size.”
In June, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said a cyberattack on the Bundestag that resulted in sensitive information being siphoned off the network was part of Russia’s “strategy of hybrid warfare including cyber disorientation and fact manipulation.”
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