According to news reports, a senior official in the French Senate has been arrested on the suspicion of spying for North Korea.
Benoît Quennedey is a senior administrator in France’s upper house of parliament in the department of architecture, heritage and gardens. He is also president of the Association d’amitié Franco-Coréenne (AAFC) Franco-Korean Friendship Association in English.
Judicial sources say he was arrested on Sunday night and being investigated over the “collection and delivery of information to a foreign power likely to undermine the fundamental interests of the nation”
Monsieur Quennedey is being questioned by the domestic security agency, the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Intérieure (DGSI). His home in Paris, and his parents home have also been searched.
The arrest was first reported by the Quotidien programme of the TV channel TMC, which later said Mr Quennedey’s Senate office had also been raided.
The AAFC posted this statement today (28.11.18) “These charges are implausible and extravagant in light of the information that Mr. Quennedey could hold in view of the service in which he works. Given the glaring lack of concrete evidence on this issue, we fear that this is a resurgence of the offense of opinion in France, intended to hit the free spirits. It is therefore urgent to mobilize for the preservation of democratic freedoms. Benoît Quennedey has always campaigned for friendship between peoples, starting with the friendship between the French and Korean peoples. The association he chairs was founded in 1969 with this in mind and has, despite its long history, never experienced a case like this”