The former DGSE director is accused of involvement in the extortion attempt

PARIS: Bernard Bajolet, the former director general of External Security (DGSE), was charged in October with involvement in an extortion attempt against a businessman who accused the intelligence service of using the restriction to extort money from him in 2016, AFP said on Wednesday. knowledgeable source on the matter.

Bernard Bajolet, who was head of the DGSE from April 2013 to May 2017 before retiring, was also accused of arbitrary interference with personal freedom by a public authority, the source confirmed to Le Monde newspaper.

In March 2016, 73-year-old French-Swiss businessman Alain Dumenil, who has been involved in numerous legal cases and commercial disputes related to the management of his businesses in France and Switzerland, is preparing to fly to Geneva. At Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport, consider a source close to the file.

Checked by two PAF (border police) officers at the Air France counter. After asking him for his passport, they request a more thorough check and invite him to follow him to the police station located in Terminal 2F.

They bring him to a room in the police station. According to the same source, two of the 7,000 agents in the DGSE enter the room in civilian clothes.

Presenting themselves as “the state”, they tell him that he must pay France 15 million euros.

To support their request, they show him photos of him and his family taken in England and Switzerland.

According to Alain Dumenil’s account, they would threaten.

The interview lasts a few minutes, the businessman loses his composure and complains. Agents disappear.

In October 2022, Bernard Bajolet was heard and charged. He explained to the investigative judges that he approved the principle of the interview at the airport, but did not go into the details of its implementation.

The names of the services and persons responsible for this file, as well as the agents who conducted the interview, will never be disclosed, and are protected by protective secrecy.

For Bernard Bajolet, the goal was a brief and unrestricted relationship with a man considered difficult by the establishment and with whom many previous contact attempts had failed.

“This is a long-awaited step forward, not yet final, but in the context of handling this case, it very clearly calls into question the DGSE’s practices,” said Nicolas Huc-Morel and William Bourdon. , lawyers for Alain Dumenil.

Three million percent

The aim of the current investigation in Bobigny is to determine the legal framework of surveillance, the extent of restrictions imposed by different agents and the possible threats.

Since the end of the First World War, the DGSE has managed the “private heritage” entrusted to the state.

In the late 1990s, DGSE made unsuccessful investments in a company. During a securities exchange in the early 2000s, Alain Dumenil became the main shareholder of this company and sold shares of the holding company to the DGSE.

Later, he transferred all the shares in the holding held by DGSE to three other companies that he also owns. The holding is compulsorily liquidated.

As a result, the businessman was charged with bankruptcy in November 2016 in court proceedings.

DGSE estimates that Alain Dumenil owes them 15 million euros, including three percent.

The former banker manages companies in various fields: luxury, real estate, aviation, media…

In 2012, he was found guilty of complicity in bankruptcy by the Court of Appeal of Grenoble. The European Court of Human Rights found that the Court of Appeal violated Alain Dumenil’s right to a fair trial in this case.

In another case, he was fined €450,000 on appeal in 2014 for insider trading.

In that case, Mr. Bajolet’s former chief of staff, Jean-Pierre Palasset, then the agency’s No. 2, was heard as a supporting witness in October.

Bernard Emié, the current director of the DGSE, and the former head of the Roissy PAF, who asked his team to arrange the interview after the approval of his central management, were heard as lay witnesses.

When asked, the DGSE refused to respond to AFP, citing one of its earlier statements about “international racketeer and criminal” Alain Duménil, in which he denied “imposing the slightest threat”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *