Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

South Africa: Four men guilty of shooting Rwandan exile

Read more

WEB NEWS

France: fighting political corruption with transparency

Read more

WEB NEWS

Using the web to further the cause: ISIS vs USA

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Armeli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • Anti-government protesters storm Pakistan's state TV

    Read more

  • PSG trounce Saint-Etienne 5-0 with Ibrahimovic hat trick

    Read more

  • Putin calls for 'statehood' talks on eastern Ukraine

    Read more

  • Rescue efforts under way after French apartment block blast

    Read more

  • Israel appropriates large tracts of West Bank land

    Read more

  • Tension rises in Hong Kong as Beijing rejects open elections

    Read more

  • French police stop 'teenage jihadist' from flying to Syria

    Read more

  • Kidnapped Yazidi women 'sold to Islamists' in Syria

    Read more

  • Confusion reigns after Lesotho 'coup'

    Read more

  • France's Simon beats Ferrer to advance to last 16 in US Open

    Read more

  • French PM vows to safeguard 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Inside Novoazovsk – the pro-Russians' latest conquest

    Read more

  • Filipino UN troops escape Islamists in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Fugitive British killer returns to French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Pakistani protesters clash with police outside PM's house

    Read more

France

French intelligence agency to investigate Renault espionage claims

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-01-14

French state prosecutors have asked the country's domestic intelligence service to investigate allegations of industrial espionage targeting French carmaker Renault, in a case that has prompted one cabinet minister to talk of "economic warfare".

REUTERS - French state prosecutors launched an inquiry into industrial espionage at Renault on Friday after the carmaker filed a legal complaint alleging information was passed to a foreign power.

France's domestic intelligence service, DCRI, has now been charged with the investigation.

Renault had lodged a complaint on counts of organised theft, aggravated breach of trust and passing intelligence to a foreign power on Thursday, Paris prosecutor Jean-Claude Marin said earlier.

The judicial move followed the suspension last week of three executives Renault suspects of leaking information about the high-profile electric vehicle programme in which it is investing heavily.

The carmaker said on Thursday it had discovered serious misconduct detrimental to its "strategic, technological and intellectual assets."

Its complaint was against "persons unknown", implying all those involved may not yet have been identified.

Renault did not name the foreign power in its complaint, but did identify foreign private companies, Renault's lawyer Jean Reinhart said on Thursday.

Chief Operating Officer Patrick Pelata has warned of an "organised international network" but said key electric vehicle technology secrets are safe.

Guessing games

France could now be waiting months for clarity on a case that has gripped the country since the executives were suspended. Reinhart told Le Parisien on Friday an investigation of this kind would last at least six months.

France has dubbed the case "economic warfare" and is considering tightening up legislation to protect companies.

The scandal has threatened to harm improving relations between France and China, after a government source said intelligence services were looking into a possible connection with China as part of initial checks before the official probe.

The French government has played down the possibility of a link to China, saying it is not accusing any one country of involvement, while China has denied any link to the case.

Thibault De Montbrial, lawyer for Matthieu Tenenbaum, deputy head of Renault's EV programme and the youngest of the three executives, told Reuters on Friday he did not know the identity or the nationality of the company cited in the complaint.

"I can respond to accusations when they are precise, but I am not going to play guessing games," de Montbrial said. Tenenbaum is "still stunned by the accusations ... but at least things are progressing ... When they ask him questions, at least he will know what the questions are about."

Xavier Thouvenin, the lawyer representing Michel Balthazard, vice president of advance engineering and a management committee member, said his client was waiting for notice of his dismissal, which would likely give more details of the claims against them.

Under French law, Renault had to wait 48 hours to send dismissal letters after the hearing on Tuesday.

"The letter ... must specify 'you have done this and that' ... It's difficult for him, he's been there for 30 years, so it's a bit of a shock," Thouvenin said.
 

Date created : 2011-01-14

COMMENT(S)