Monday, October 02, 2006
New Zealand police are to relook at the file of the 1985 Rainbow Warrior bombing, following allegations that the brother of a French presidential hopeful was involved. The claims have been made by Antoine Royal, the brother of presidential hopeful Segolene Royal. He has told the French newspaper Le Parisien that another brother, Gerard, planted the bombs that sank the Greenpeace ship in Auckland. Crew member Fernando Pereira died in the explosion. "At the time, [Gerard] was a lieutenant and agent of the DGSE (intelligence agency) in Asia," Antoine Royal is reported as saying. "He was asked in 1985 to go to New Zealand, to Auckland harbour, to sabotage the Rainbow Warrior. "Later he told me that it was he who planted the bomb on the Greenpeace ship. He took a small craft with a second person to approach the boat." Two French agents - Alain Mafart and Dominique Prieur - were arrested after the incident but police never found two others they suspected were also involved.
Sinking Of The Original Rainbow WarriorMafart and Prieur pleaded guilty to manslaughter and were sentenced to 10 years' jail. They were released into French custody a year later after the French Government threatened to block New Zealand trade. A police spokeswoman says the Rainbow Warrior file will be looked at by police national crime manager Win van der Veldt. She says it is too early to say what action, if any, will be taken. Greenpeace New Zealand says the news is like "rubbing more salt into the wound", but the organisation does not hold out much hope of further action. "It seems there are two types of terrorists these days - with the state terrorists being the ones that get away with it," Greenpeace executive director Bunny McDiarmid said. The organisation has denied a newspaper report that it has called for the New Zealand Government to extradite Gerard Royal and charge him with murder. "We have tried for extradition before and it was then - and would be now - a fruitless exercise," Ms McDiarmid said. The Greenpeace ship was about to sail to Mururoa Atoll to protest French nuclear testing when it was hit.