justice suspends compulsory retirement of official already cleared of spying charges for the benefit of North Korea

Senior civil servant Benoit Quennedey, in Paris, in November 2017.

Administrative justice suspended, Tuesday, May 16, the automatic retirement of a Senate administrator who had already benefited from a dismissal in 2022, after being suspected of spying for the benefit of South Korea. North and indicted in 2018 for “treason”.

“The interim judge of the administrative court suspends the decree of January 26, 2023 by which the President of the Senate [Gérard Larcher] has, for disciplinary reasons, decided to retire one of its administrators on the grounds that he had praised the North Korean dictatorship, questioned the Senate on the North Korean question and failed in his duty to dignity for maintaining relations with the general delegation of the Republic of North Korea”writes the administrative court of Paris in a press release.

“The execution of the sanction is suspended and the President of the Senate is enjoined to temporarily reinstate the official, within a period of fifteen days from the notification of the judicial decision”it is specified.

Confidential Information

In June 2022, Benoît Quennedey, a senior Senate official suspected of spying for North Korea, had benefited from a dismissal. He had been indicted in November 2018 in particular for “treason by delivery of information to a foreign power” and “intelligence with a foreign power” and placed under judicial supervision, with, among other things, the prohibition to exercise his profession. Investigators were investigating whether he had actually provided confidential information to the Pyongyang regime.

A graduate of Sciences Po Paris and former student of the ENA, this man in his forties, who chairs the Franco-Korean Friendship ociation, has published several books devoted to North Korea, in particular an essay on the economy of the Pyongyang regime.

At the time of his indictment, he was working as administrator of the Directorate of Architecture, Heritage and Gardens of the Upper House of Parliament, in charge of the administrative and financial division. Suspended since from his post, the Senate had confirmed to Agence France-Fresse (AFP) his “reintegration”. Before his automatic retirement pronounced in January.

“This sanction, which is similar to an administrative death sentence, was imposed following a procedure in which his presumption of innocence, his right to privacy, his honor and his freedom were methodically trampled underfoot. of opinion. The interim judge concluded that a serious doubt exists about the proportionality of the sanction, and underlined the sincerity and generosity of Benoît Quennedey’s humanitarian commitment in favor of Koreans, from the North as well as from the South.write his lawyers in a press release sent to AFP.

According to them, “by initiating this disciplinary procedure and opting for irrational severity against its agent, the Senate sought to deprive Benoît Quennedey, victim of infamous accusations, of the rehabilitation to which he is entitled”.

The World with AFP

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