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Africa

Dead French contractor 'jeopardised the revolution'

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-05-13

A French security contractor shot dead near the rebel stronghold of Benghazi in eastern Libya was working against the country's revolution, the rebel leadership has said. Private contracting company Secopex said it had turned down work with Gaddafi.

AFP - An ex-French paratrooper shot dead by police in the rebel-held Libyan city Benghazi, and four compatriots in custody here, were working to undermine the anti-Kadhafi revolution, rebels said Friday.

"On the evening of 11 May, local security forces in Benghazi were instructed to arrest a group of five Frenchmen for illicit activities that jeopardised the security of free Libya," the rebel National Transitional Council said.

"Regrettably, one of the suspects was accidentally shot after resisting arrest," a statement said, without providing details of the men's alleged activities but saying a formal investigation was underway.

The dead man has been identified as Pierre Marziali, the founder of French private security firm Secopex. The four detained men worked for the company.

Secopex said it had been prospecting for security work in Benghazi. One of its executives told a French newspaper he had recently been in Tripoli where he had turned down an offer to work for the regime of Moamer Kadhafi.

The rebel statement came after European diplomatic sources in Benghazi said the men may have been spies for the Kadhafi regime.

In a terse statement Thursday, the French government said only that five French nationals were detained after an encounter with a police unit and that one "was wounded by a bullet and died overnight in a hospital."

Secopex executive Robert Dulas told Liberation daily that "Pierre had just arrived (in Benghazi) after a 15-hour drive from Cairo.

"One of our members telephoned me from there to say everything was okay. Two hours later, he was killed. Something doesn't make sense."
 

Date created : 2011-05-13

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