Suspicions of espionage by Qatar: three investigations opened in France

Three preliminary investigations have been opened in France, including one after a complaint by former UEFA boss Michel Platini, following the Sunday Times investigation in November into suspected spying by Qatar , said the Paris prosecutor’s office on Tuesday, January 25, confirming information from Le Monde.

The former N.10 and coach of the France team was heard on January 4 as a witness in one of these investigations, specifies the daily, which a source close to the file confirmed to AFP.

First survey

This investigation, opened in November tobreach of an automated data system” and “violation of the secrecy of correspondence“, was entrusted to the Central Office for the fight against crime related to information and communication technologies (OCLCTIC), indicated the prosecution.

According to the Sunday Times, Michel Platini was spied on in May 2019, shortly before he was taken into police custody in June 2019, as part of the investigation into suspicions of corruption in the awarding of the World Cup to the gas emirate. In this case, he has not been the subject, at this stage, of any prosecution.

Second survey

The second investigation, also opened in November for “breach of an automated data system“Follows the filing of a complaint by the senator of Orne Nathalie Goulet (Centrist Union). She was entrusted to the cybercrime brigade (BL2C) of the Paris judicial police.

In the wake of the Sunday Times revelations, the senator explained to AFP that “eight to ten monthsEarlier, she had received a phone call from a “Mister claiming to be an investigator but who did not show upand who knew his Gmail box password.

The parliamentarian had linked this hacking to her work on radical Islam and her votes against conventions signed by France with Qatar, including the partnership on the security of the Football World Cup.

Third survey

The third investigation, also entrusted to the BL2C, was opened after the complaint from the Mediapart news site and one of its journalists Yann Philippin, author of several investigations on Qatar. The site had indicated that Yann Philippin had been the victim from January 2020 of several phishing attempts (scam on the internet) by sending fraudulent emails.

This investigation, opened after a first complaint in February 2021, was first closed without further action, “lack of elements characterizing the offense“, but the investigations resumed”after the recent filing of new elements“, said the prosecution.

According to the Sunday Times investigation, around 50 personalities including journalists and lawyers were the targets of hackers hired to protect Qatar’s reputation

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