French Rainbow Warrior battle still being fought

11th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

WELLINGTON, May 11, 2006 (AFP) - Two French spies convicted over the 1985 bombing of Greenpeace's flagship Rainbow Warrior in New Zealand will continue their court battle to prevent film of their court appearance being televised following a ruling Thursday.

WELLINGTON, May 11, 2006 (AFP) -  Two French spies convicted over the 1985 bombing of Greenpeace's flagship Rainbow Warrior in New Zealand will continue their court battle to prevent film of their court appearance being televised following a ruling Thursday.

Alain Mafart and Dominique Prieur were convicted in 1985 on manslaughter charges for their role in the bombing by French government agents, which killed Greenpeace photographer Fernando Pereira.

Mafart and Prieur have been trying to stop footage of their initial court hearing in 1985 being shown by Television New Zealand.

New Zealand's Supreme Court ruled Thursday their appeal against a decision to allow the closed circuit film to be shown should be heard by the Court of Appeal.

The bombing of the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland Harbour was aimed at stopping the ship from sailing to French Polynesia to protest nuclear testing by France at Mururoa Atoll.

Prieur and Mafart, who were posing as Swiss tourists, were quickly captured after the bombing and later pleaded guilty to charges including manslaughter.

The pair was sentenced to 10 years prison but released into French custody a year later after Paris threatened to block New Zealand trade. Several other French agents were never caught.

Pereira was believed to have been killed by the second of two blasts that sunk the ship after he went below decks following the first explosion to retrieve some camera equipment.

The sinking caused a major scandal in France and led to the resignation of Defence Minister Charles Hernu.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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