Paris: A senior French military officer has been charged with espionage for allegedly passing secret documents to Russian intelligence, Florence Parly, the country’s defence minister, has said.
The lieutenant-colonel, who has not been named, is stationed at a NATO base in Italy. He was detained by France’s General Directorate for Internal Security, the equivalent of MI5, 10 days ago as he was about to return to Italy after a holiday in France, Europe 1 radio reported. He is being held at La Santé prison in Paris.
Ms Parly said the defence ministry had referred the case to public prosecutors. She declined to give details about the nature of the information allegedly given to Russia, saying the matter was sub judice.
“We have taken all necessary measures. Now, justice must be allowed to take its course while respecting the secrecy of the investigation… It is for the judicial system to decide what he is guilty of and whether he is guilty.”