Exclusive: the ‘regrets’ of French agent who sank the Rainbow Warrior

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The French naval frogman who sank the Greenpeace boat Rainbow Warrior in New Zealand in July 1985, causing the death of photographer Fernando Pereira, has spoken publicly for the first time. Jean-Luc Kister, who was ordered to sink the boat that took part in protests against France's nuclear tests in the Pacific, has given a long interview to Mediapart's editor-in-chief, Edwy Plenel, the journalist who broke the story of French involvement in the attack 30 years ago. This interview is published simultaneously with a public apology given by Kister on New Zealand state television.

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“Thirty years after the events, now that emotions have calmed, and also with the hindsight I have regarding my professional life, I thought that this was a chance for me to express both my deepest regrets and my apologies,” said Jean-Luc Kister. “First of all to Fernando Pereira's family, in particular his daughter Marelle, for what I call an accidental death and what they consider to be an assassination. I also wanted to apologise to the members of Greenpeace who were aboard the Rainbow Warrior that night. And then to the people of New Zealand which, it must not be forgotten, is a friendly and ally nation in which we conducted an inappropriate clandestine operation.”