French Taser chief held for spying
Police arrested nine people on suspicion of spying on French Trotskyist leader Olivier Besancenot.
14 October 2008
PARIS - Police arrested nine people including the French head of the Taser stungun firm and a police civil servant Tuesday on suspicion of spying on Trotskyist leader Olivier Besancenot, sources said.
Paris prosecutors launched a probe in May after a magazine reported
that a private detective firm was tailing the 34-year-old former presidential
candidate, prompting his far-left party to sue for violation of privacy.
Those arrested include Taser France head Antoine Di Zazzo and a police department official who was recently transferred from his job in the
capital to one in the provinces, according to an official close to the
The head of the controversial stun gun company was being held in custody in connection with the investigation. According to L'Express magazine, detectives tailed Besancenot and his partner between October 2007 and January 2008 from outside their Parisapartment, photographed them and recorded their bank details.
The magazine claimed the alleged surveillance operation could not have been
carried out without the help of civil servants with access to French interior
Besancenot is winding up his party, the Communist Revolutionary League (LCR), to found a New Anti-Capitalist Party in January, including the remains of the once-powerful Communist Party, environmentalists, disaffected Socialists and anti-globalisation activists.
The articulate and telegenic politician led the pack of six far-left
candidates in last year's presidential election, picking up four percent
of the vote.
[AFP / Expatica]