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france 24 France

France declassifies 100 documents on murders of RFI reporters

© FRANCE 24 Screengrab | Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon were murdered in November 2013.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2016-02-18

One hundred documents related to the deaths of two RFI reporters killed in Mali in 2013 have been declassified by the French defence ministry to help judges who are investigating the case.

On November 2, 2013, journalist Ghislaine Dupont, 57, and technician Claude Verlon, 55, were kidnapped together and subsequently murdered in Kidal in northern Mali.

They were preparing a series of reports ahead of legislative elections for Radio France Internationale (RFI), FRANCE 24’s sister station.

Several days after they were killed, the Islamist militant group al Qaeda in the Maghreb, or AQIM, claimed responsibility.

A special defence ministry commission has been studying some 175 documents relating to the murder since December 22, according to RFI.

These include information gathered by French intelligence agencies, including the agency tasked with external security (Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure or DGSE) and the military intelligence agency (Direction du Renseignement Militaire).

The office of Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a statement that the decision to declassify the documents was made on the advice of the commission, as they would “help clarify, for the judges, the circumstances of the killings of the two RFI journalists”.

The judges may also ask to hear testimony from any military personnel named in the files to clarify some of their contents.

The remaining 75 documents will remain classified in the interests of national security.

Date created : 2016-02-18

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