France blamed MI6 for Rainbow WarriorGuardian Unlimited
France blamed MI6 for Rainbow Warrior
Rob Evans and Paul Brown
Monday November 28, 2005
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- Britain was furious at smears over
- Mitterrand risked fall from power, documents show
The French government tried to blame the British intelligence service MI6 for the sinking of the Greenpeace flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, in a campaign of "misinformation and smears" that infuriated the Thatcher government, newly released documents have revealed.
French secret agents, on the orders of the government, planted bombs on the Rainbow Warrior in a New Zealand harbour, killing one of the crew. The scandal rocked the French government, which lied for more than two months, denying responsibility for the act of state terrorism. The documents, released under the Freedom of Information Act to the Guardian, show how French attempts to incriminate M16 soured relations between the two countries.
The then French president, François Mitterrand, was in danger of being toppled, as politicians and officials struggled to avoid the blame and save their jobs.
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