On May 24, French newspaper Le Monde reported that 4 citizens had been detained on suspicion of spying in December 2017.
On December 22, 3 of suspects were officially impeached for treason by transmitting intelligence finds to representative of another country, according to Le Monde.
Quoting legal authorities French program Quotidien reported that 2 of suspects are ex-employees of the French external intelligence agency (Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure). The third accused person is a wife of a detained person.
🔴 INFO #Quotidien
En décembre dernier, 4 agents des services secrets français (DGSE) ont été interpelés et mis en examen. La raison : il s’agirait d’agents doubles recrutés par les autorités chinoises.
— Quotidien (@Qofficiel) May 24, 2018
The officer of justice stated that 2 intelligence officers had been accused of sharing information that “undermine basic interests of the state” and “discovery information of a military secret”. The Quotidien source pointed out that these suspects had been detained and placed to remand prisons in Fresnay and Fleury-Mérogis. The wife of a detained is under juridical supervision.
Such a crime in France is punishable by imprisonment for 30 years and by a fine of € 450,000.
In an interview to CNews, French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly stressed that the “treason” of 2 ex-members of the external intelligence agency had been “highly likely” committed during their service. Parly didn’t clarify the exact country what the intelligence officers had been working for.
French media claims that the detained intelligence officers had been working for China, providing Chinese security officials with information about French methods of operation.
On May 25, Reuters claimed that a close adviser to French President Emmanuel Macron had refused to comment on Chinese involvement in the case.
On May 26, French news radio Europe 1 published a journalistic investigation on the issue of intelligence officers involved in the case. According to the investigation, Henri M., Pierre-Marie H. and his wife Laurence were revealed as suspects that had committed this crime.