France: “Bernard Bagulet” Former intelligence chief under investigation for complicity in extortion attempt

French prosecutors have requested that Bernard Bajolet, the former head of France’s external intelligence agency DGSE, stand trial on charges of complicity in attempted extortion against a businessman named Alain Duménil in 2016.

Duménil, a French-Swiss businessman involved in numerous legal cases and commercial disputes, accuses the intelligence agency of using coercion to demand 15 million euros from him in 2016. As Duménil was about to board a flight to Geneva at a Paris airport in March 2016, he was stopped by DGSE agents who showed him photos of himself and his family taken in England and Switzerland, implying threats.

Prosecutors allege Bajolet likely acted as an accomplice by instructing the meeting be set up in conditions that suggested coercion would be used. They are also seeking to charge Bajolet with arbitrary violation of individual liberty by a public authority.

Duménil’s lawyers welcomed this development years after filing the initial complaint, calling the prosecution’s case “implacable” and stating Bajolet’s conviction now seems “inevitable” based on the strong evidence.

The case stems from a decades-old dispute over DGSE investments that went sour, with the agency claiming Duménil owes it 15 million euros after becoming a majority shareholder in companies it had invested in.

About محمد الفاسي