Pierre Lieutaud, a prefect, works in a senior role at the Ministry of the Interior and has a long background in French intelligence. Mediapart has discovered that this top-level public servant has been formally placed under investigation in the case involving alleged “spying” by the luxury goods group LVMH. Fabrice Arfi reports.
French luxury goods group LVMH, whose wayward security service led by former domestic intelligence chief Bernard Squarcini was revealed to have spied on companies and people, including a leftwing documentary maker whose film was sharply critical of LVMH boss Bernard Arnault, has reached a 10 million-euro settlement with Paris prosecutors which effectively ends further legal action against it.
Two recent reports by French police have revealed in minute detail the spying system set up by the former head of France's domestic intelligence agency, Bernard Squarcini, on behalf of the giant luxury goods firm LVMH, which is owned by billionaire Bernard Arnault. Its target was journalist François Ruffin - who is now a Member of Parliament in France - and his publication Fakir. Fabrice Arfi reports.
Mediapart is publishing a series of recordings of police phone taps involving the former head of France's domestic intelligence agency, Bernard Squarcini. These extraordinary tapes, which date from 2013, reveal the de facto existence of a state within a state, where private and public interests became intertwined. The first series of judicially-approved recordings reveal how after leaving his intelligence post Squarcini, nicknamed 'La Squale' ('The Shark'), was asked by the French luxury goods group LVMH to “infiltrate” an independent magazine in order to spy on it. Neither Squarcini nor LVMH wanted to comment on the content of the tapes. Fabrice Arfi and Pascale Pascariello report.