French Premier Laurent Fabius, accepting the findings of a controversial official report, challenged New Zealand authorities Tuesday to produce evidence that French agents are guilty of sinking the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior in Auckland harbor.
Curiously, [David Lange] chose to view Fabius' hard-line remarks as "not an apology in any specific sense but very conciliatory." In a radio interview, Lange said the statement was " . . . the closest to a constructive apology that we are going to get." At a press conference later, Lange said the French premier's remarks were significant because they acknowledged serious deficiencies in the French intelligence service. Lange, however, stopped short of promising to meet Fabius' request that New Zealand send Paris all its evidence on French participation in the Rainbow Warrior incident.
Instead, Fabius ordered [Charles Hernu] to investigate the "important lacks" in the intelligence agency and remedy them. Fabius, who refused to answer any questions after reading his statement, did not explain the nature of these shortcomings.