French intelligence seeks vengeance on its tell-all former Q


Maurice Dufresse is a former head of the French foreign intelligence service’s technical support department - a sort of real-life Gallic equivalent to Ian Fleming’s fictional ‘Q Branch’ within Britain’s MI6. The publication five years ago of his book of anecdotes and analysis of his quarter of a century in French intelligence unleashed the wrath of his country’s spy chiefs, who accuse him of compromising national security. The final chapter in this battle for freedom of expression will be concluded in September. Karl Laske reports.

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When, in 2010, Maurice Dufresse published his memoirs of a quarter of a century working with in French intelligence, 25 Ans Dans les Services Secrets (‘25 Years in the Secret Services’), it prompted a judicial and administrative backlash against him that was unprecedented in the history of the French publishing business, despite the numerous previous memoirs published by spymasters and special service chiefs.