Djibouti anger over French judge murder claim

19th April 2004, Comments 0 comments

DJIBOUTI, April 17 (AFP) - The east African state of Djibouti on Saturday accused France of attempting to destabilise it via a television programme suggesting a French judge found dead there nine years ago was murdered by figures close to Djibouti's president.

DJIBOUTI, April 17 (AFP) - The east African state of Djibouti on Saturday accused France of attempting to destabilise it via a television programme suggesting a French judge found dead there nine years ago was murdered by figures close to Djibouti's president.

A statement from the office of President Ismael Omar Guelleh said France was pursuing one aim, "the destabilisation of a country."

The charge followed transmission of a documentary by the French TV station TF1 suggesting people close to Guelleh had been involved in killing French judge Bernard Borrel, whose charred remains were near the capital Djibouti in 1995.

It was believed for some time he had taken his life. But this hypothesis was challenged by expert opinions submitted a year ago to Sophie Clement, the French examining magistrate handling the case, and by French foreign intelligence documents now made public.

The French government "has again set in motion a media campaign using its propaganda organ Radio France Internationale and TF1, which hypnotically repeats one and the same message : there is no more doubt about the assassination of Judge Borrel; President Guelleh and his entourage are responsible," the Djibouti communique said.

The former French colony is currently host to France's largest foreign military base, with some 2,700 personnel.

The statement attacked what it called the French government's "power of manipulation and desire to destroy."

Last month secret documents from the files of the DGSE, the French foreign intelligence branch, were released and submitted to legal authorities in Paris.

One, dated January 21 2000 and made public this month, says two Djibouti witnesses had confirmed to French intelligence agents that Borrel had been assassinated for political reasons on the orders of people close to Guelleh.

A French legal source quoted the witnesses as saying the motive for the killing might have been that Borrel had apparent evidence that Guelleh had allegedly been involved in arms trafficking or in a 1990 attack on a Djibouti restaurant, in which person died and 11 were injured.

In 1990, Guelleh was office chief of the then president Hassan Gouled Aptidon, and head of the country's security services.


© AFP                                                   

                                                         Subject: French news

 

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