Three investigations opened in France for suspicion of espionage by Qatar



Three preliminary investigations have been opened in France, including one after a complaint was lodged by former UEFA boss Michel Platini, following the investigation by the Sunday Times in November on suspicion of spying by Qatar, the Paris prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday, confirming information from the World.

The former number 10 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. This investigation, opened in November for “breach of an automated data system” and “breach of the secrecy of correspondence”, was entrusted to the Central Office for the Fight against Crime linked to Information and Communication Technologies ( OCLCTIC), said the prosecution.

According to Sunday Times, Michel Platini was reportedly 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 Qatar. In this case, he has not been the subject, at this stage, of any prosecution.

Man knew senator’s Gmail password

The second investigation, also opened in November for “attack on 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 revelations of Sunday Timesthe senator explained to AFP that “eight to ten months” Earlier, she had received a phone call from a “Mister calling himself an investigator but who did not introduce himself” and 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.

A Mediapart journalist victim of phishing

Finally, the third investigation, also entrusted to the BL2C, was opened after the complaint from the news site Mediapart and one of its journalists Yann Philippin, author of several investigations on Qatar. The site had indicated that Mr. Filipino 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 offence”but investigations resumed “after the recent filing of new elements”, said the prosecution. According to the survey of Sunday Timesabout fifty personalities, including journalists and lawyers, were the targets of hackers hired to protect the reputation of Qatar.



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