Defence minister confirms security breach that may have supplied sensitive documents to Kremlin
The French government is investigating a senior military officer over a “security breach”, the defence minister has said, following a report the person was suspected of spying for Russia.
“What I can confirm is that a senior officer is facing legal proceedings for a security breach,” Florence Parly said. She gave no further details.
According to reports, the officer was a lieutenant-colonel stationed with Nato in Italy and had been placed under investigation on suspicion of spying for Russia.
He speaks Russian and was seen in Italy with a man identified as an agent of the GRU, the Russian military intelligence service, the reports said.
A judicial source said the officer had been indicted and jailed on charges involving “intelligence with a foreign power that undermines the fundamental interests of the nation”.
He is being prosecuted for “delivering information to a foreign power”, “collecting information harming the fundamental interests of the nation with a view to delivering them to a foreign power” and “compromising the secrecy of national defence”, the source said.
The man was arrested by the French intelligence agency DGSI as he was preparing to leave for Italy at the end of his holidays in France, and was being held at a prison in Paris, radio station Europe 1 said.