So it turns out we’re not paranoid then – the French courts today convicted EDF, the French nuclear giant of spying on our colleagues in the French Greenpeace office. They were hacking their computers, putting viruses into their networks and compiling dossiers of our activists here in Britain. And goodness knows what else they’ve been doing. We’re not over the top when we say the nuclear industry can’t be trusted and their underhand methods of trying to see off their opponents make them incompatible with democracy.
In 2006, EDF hired a private detective agency called Kargus Consultants, run by a former member of the French secret services, to work out what Greenpeace France was planning. The agency hacked the computer of Yannick Jadot, Greenpeace's then campaigns director, taking 1,400 documents from his computer.
At 14.00 today French Judge Isabelle Prévost-Desprez pronounced a verdict of guilty in the trial of French state owned energy giant EDF, which was accused of industrial scale espionage against Greenpeace. She sentenced EDF executive Pierre-Paul François to three years imprisonment, with 30 months suspended and Pascal Durieux three years imprisonment, two years suspended and a 10,000 Euro fine for commissioning the spying operation.
The judge also handed down a guilty verdict in the case of Thierry Lorho, the head of Kargus, the company employed by EDF to hack into the computers of Greenpeace. He has been sentenced to three years in jail, with two suspended and a 4,000 Euro fine.
EDF has been fined 1.5 million Euros and ordered to pay half a million Euros in damages to Greenpeace.
Speaking from alongside the new Rainbow Warrior, currently on its maiden voyage and docked in London, Greenpeace UK's executive director, John Sauven, said: "The evidence presented at the trial showed that the espionage undertaken by EDF in its efforts to discredit Greenpeace was both extensive and totally illegal. The company should now give a full account of the spying operation it mounted against its critics. As one of the six companies with a monopoly over electricity supply in this country and a major sponsor of the Olympics, EDF has a duty to come clean. The length of the sentences handed down shows just how seriously the judge views what the French state owned company did."