FRANCE: Row over disbanding of journalists 'spy' unit
Intelligence unit gathered information about politicians and journalists for ministry of overseas territories
Pacific Media Watch
Friday, January 18, 2008
Pape'Ete (RNZI Online/Pacific Media Watch) --- Reports from France say there have been disagreements over the disbanding of the intelligence unit attached to its ministry of overseas territories -- originally set up to gather information about politicians and journalists.
The move was announced by the junior minister, Christian Estrosi, and the French weekly Le Point now says he will not rescind his decision after it was criticised by his superior, the Minister of the Interior, Michele Alliot-Marie.
Estrosi said the contract of the general in charge of the ministry’s military unit expired at the end of December and after consulting the president, the prime minister and the defence minister, it was disbanded.
He says the intelligence unit was set up in 1959 to gather information about politicians, as well as journalists, on the ministry’s behalf.
According to Le Point, Alliot-Marie will hire a military adviser and maintain some offices responsible to the high commissions.
PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation comprising journalists, lawyers, editors and other media workers, dedicated to examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region. Launched in October 1996, it has links with the Journalism Program at the University of the South Pacific, Bushfire Media, the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism, and Pactok Communications, in Sydney and Port Moresby. (c)1996-2001 Copyright - All rights reserved.
Items are provided solely for review purposes as a non-profit educational service. Copyright remains the property of the original producers as indicated. Recipients should seek permission from the copyright owner for any publishing. Copyright owners not wishing their materials to be posted by PMW please contact us. The views expressed in material listed by PMW are not necessarily the views of PMW or its members.
Recipients should rely on their own inquiries before making decisions based on material listed in PMW. Please copy appeals to PMW and acknowledge source.
For further information, inquiries about joining the Pacific Media Watch listserve, articles for publication, and giving feedback contact Pacific Media Watch at: E-mail: email@example.com
Date Posted: 1/18/2008