Franco-Libyan relations

French IT group Bull horned by Libyan internet espionage deal

International — Investigation

Amesys, a subsidiary of French IT company Bull, which provided former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi with technology to spy on emails and chat forums, has threatened former employees with legal action in a bid to stop them revealing to the media further details of the deal. In the negotiations to secure the contract, sealed with the Gaddafi regime in 2007, the company, operating under its former name i2e, delivered Tripoli with a sample of its internet spying capabilities in the form of eavesdropped personal messages exchanged by staff at a Paris university. The deal with Libya was one of several brokered by arms dealer and intermediary Ziad Takieddine, and enjoyed the backing of the then-French interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.

From ‘honeymoon’ to war: what US cables said about French courtship of Gaddafi

International — Investigation

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has assumed a high profile in the international military offensive launched to support the rebellion against the regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. But US diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks, and published here by Mediapart, shed a revealing light upon previously sweet relations between Sarkozy and Gaddafi (photo), described by one American ambassador as a "honeymoon" period of "high hopes for lucrative contracts".