Saturday, September 30, 2006

Extradite him

A Parisian newspaper has reported that Gerard Royal, brother of French presidential hopeful Segolene Royal, was one of the agents who bombed the Rainbow Warrior:

"At the time, (Gerard) was a lieutenant and agent of the DGSE (intelligence agency) in Asia. He was asked in 1985 to go to New Zealand, to Auckland harbour, to sabotage the Rainbow Warrior," Antoine said.

"Later he told me that it was he who planted the bomb on the Greenpeace ship. He took a small craft with a second person to approach the boat."

"He was able to escape the New Zealand authorities, unlike the false Turenge couple who were arrested. My sister learnt that he was present during the operation from a recent article in the press."

Royal should be extradited and tried for manslaughter, and terrorism if the charge is available. And while we're at it, we should extradite and try his co-conspirator Louis Dallias as well.


If he was the man who planted a lethal explosive device on the hull of an unarmed, non-combatant ship, I think murder should be the charge. The bastard.

Posted by Anonymous : 10/01/2006 09:05:00 AM

Sadly, I think that's going to happen the day after Mafart and Prieur return to New Zealand to serve the rest of their manslaughter sentences in a New Zealand prison.

It might also be fair comment to point out Segolene Royal isn't *ahem* a unversally admired figure in French politics - even inside her own Socialist party, where she's considered a little to conservative for comfort. I'm not saying these allegations aren't true, but that these claims might have another agenda attached.

Posted by Craig Ranapia : 10/01/2006 12:09:00 PM

123: Well, manslaughter is what the others were charged with, presumably due to intent issues.

Craig: Sadly, I think you're right.

This news isn't entirely new - while googling around last night, I noticed a mention in a Guardian story from July, and people on European Tribune have pointed me at references from June. As for the political angle, I don't think the French will disapprove in the same way that we do, and in any case she's not responsible for what her brother or her boss was doing in the 80's.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 10/01/2006 12:23:00 PM

I/S wrote:
I don't think the French will disapprove in the same way that we do, and in any case she's not responsible for what her brother or her boss was doing in the 80's.

Perhaps, and I'll admit to hardly being a close observer of the political scene in France, but I'd like to think not every French voter just shrugs upon being reminded their Government engaged in an act of state-sponsored terrorism in the heart of New Zealand's largest city. We're not talking about Algeria or French Indo-China. :(

It must be especially uncomfortable for the presumptive Socialist candidate to have her name linked (however tenuously or unfairly) to the Rainbow Warrior bombing and the DGSE, an intellegence agency Socialist politicians have had an uneasy (and some would say, far too cosy) relationship with over the last thirty years.

Still, I guess we'll see how it pans out.

Posted by Craig Ranapia : 10/02/2006 06:33:00 AM

At the end of the day, we are a minnow in the South Pacific and the French are utterly shameless in using their position in the E.U. to blackmail us and bully its strategic partners to ensure its chauvanistic interests are served. Is justice for the life of Fernando Pereira worth the damage France could wreck on our economy? The government of New Zealand realistically swallowed its pride and accepted a deal. It might make us grind our teeth in frustration and anger, but accepting Hobson's choice was the right decision for our greater national interest.

Posted by Sanctuary : 10/02/2006 03:13:00 PM

Sanctuary wrote:
The government of New Zealand realistically swallowed its pride and accepted a deal. It might make us grind our teeth in frustration and anger, but accepting Hobson's choice was the right decision for our greater national interest.

Sanctuary, you can count the number of times I agree with Greenpeace on a closed fist but "state-sponsored terrorists getting away with murder" is nothing but the plain truth. AFAIC, both the Fourth Labour Government and the National Government that followed should be ashamed that they let that happen on their watch.

And yes, Sanctuary, I think justice for Fernando Pereira - and his family - was a little more important than collapsing as soon as Paris threatened economic blackmail. Mafart and Prieur plead guilty to manslaughter, and were properly sentenced to ten years in prison - a sentence that was turned into an unfunny joke. Is that the new standard now: State-sponsored terrorism is A-OK in New Zealand, as long as the government concerned buys enough butter, and you can get the UN Secretary-General to broker a big enough cheque?

Posted by Craig Ranapia : 10/02/2006 06:35:00 PM

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator. Posted by Sanctuary : 10/03/2006 09:22:00 AM

I think a confrontation with France in 1985 had the potential to do serious damage our economic prosperity. Better to appease in this case than start something we clearly wouldn't win, especially as our main European "ally" the U.K. did the realpolitik sums and realised they clearly added up to "= France." I always remember FDR's quote in relation to Mussolini's attack on France in 1940: "Anyone can start a war, it takes someone to finish one." New Zealand is neither an anybody like Mussolini or a somebody like Roosevelt.

History is full of the little hero who went down fighting the hopeless fight. Personally, I think you should pick your fights, and preferably make them ones you can win. I know that saying the whole stinking affair is a brutal lesson in realpolitik is not what Kiwi's want to hear in realtion to the Rainbow Warrior, but that is exactly what we were subjected to. We are lucky here. Far away and safely tucked away in our own beautiful little corner of the world, we are wonderfully innocent a little complacent and indulgent in our view of the world. The one intrusion of the brutal and perverse minds that often shape world affairs into our backyard was/is a helluva shock.

All which doesn't mean I think its a case of c'est la vie. I was in France after we sentenced the sabouteurs, and I will never forget being singled out and treated like a criminal in Perpignan by French border police as I tried to leave for Spain.Their passport "checks" caused me to miss a connecting train and spend a miserable night in that benighted place. Though the French sometimes come up with some good stuff, their Gaullist bloody mindedness makes them generally not worth the bother of dealing with them if you can avoid it. I have not much sympathy or goddwill towards that country.

Just as an aside, to draw a bit of a long bow, it interests me that so many "mini me" nationalists of the right get so hot under the collar about this issue, whilst at the same time completely failing to comprehend why Arabs, subjected to 60 years of far, far, far worse demonstrations of thier powerlessness and the violently naked self-interest of the USA and its Israeli proxy might get so angry that some of them resort to terrorism.

Posted by Sanctuary : 10/03/2006 11:13:00 AM


With all due respect, I'm sorry you had an unpleasant experience with French border control twenty years ago but what that has to do with the matter in hand is quite beyond me.

Here's a proposition: Could it be that many immigrants come to New Zealand - and bring substantial investment capital and skills with them - because they appreciate our reputation as a corruption-free nation, where the rule of law applies to all not just those who have the leverage to bend the rules to their advantage? When you can get ahead with a lot of hard work, not a lot of grease crossing the right palms?

I think that's valuable.

And here's another proposition: We do love to lecture other countries on good governance, the rule of law, and respect for the integrity and human rights of all. Does that moral authority not errode when it seems that our ethics aren't quite so solid when there's an FTA in the offing? Sad to say, I don't think much has changed over the last 21 years. And, unlike you, I don't think that's anything to applaud.

Posted by Craig Ranapia : 10/03/2006 02:25:00 PM