Bernard Bajolet, the former director general of the French foreign intelligence service, was indicted last October for his role in an attempted extortion of 15 million euros against a Franco-Swiss businessman, according to the ‘AFP, confirming a survey by Le Monde published on Wednesday.
In March 2016, Alain Duménil, a 73-year-old entrepreneur involved in several legal cases, was arrested by the border police before boarding a Paris airport, and led to two agents from the DGSE. , reports Le Monde.
Agents told the businessman he owed the French state 15 million euros, and Duménil claimed they threatened him with physical harm and showed him photos of his family.
Bajolet, who then headed the DGSE, says he authorized the operation, but denies the allegations of threat. The interview, he claims, was only conducted to get hold of Duménil’s lawyers about a legal case involving the contractor.
According to the two French media, the agency accuses the businessman of having embezzled 15 million euros of secret funds from the DGSE, via a complex financial operation, in the early 2000s. Since the end of the First World War II, the DGSE manages a secret war chest initially funded by the French state that is believed to have run into trouble over the past two decades as a result of poor investment.
Bajolet was indicted by a French judge in October 2022 for complicity in attempted extortion, and for “arbitrary interference with individual freedom by a person holding public authority in the same case”, according to Le Monde and the AFP.