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Magazine Points Finger at Mitterrand in Ship Bombing
[Home Edition]
Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Los Angeles, Calif.
Author: Meisler, Stanley
Date: Aug 30, 1986
Start Page: 21
Section: 1; Foreign Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

Although [Pierre Lacoste], according to L'Express, believed that the navy should try to halt the Rainbow Warrior on the open seas, Defense Minister [Charles Hernu] decided to try to get rid of the Greenpeace problem by destroying the Rainbow Warrior before it left port.

The French managed to do this on July 10, 1985, when French frogmen placed two bombs against the hull of the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland harbor in New Zealand. The results were disastrous. The Greenpeace photographer was killed, and New Zealand police quickly captured two French agents, Maj. Alain Mafart and Capt. Dominique Prieur, who had been sent to Auckland to spy on the ship and provide information and explosives to the frogmen.

From time to time, there were hints in the press that Mitterrand or some of his key aides might have been involved in the planning of the Greenpeace plot. But no publication accused [Francois Mitterrand], whose power was diminished by the victory of the conservative parties in the parliamentary elections of last March, of direct involvement in the affair until L'Express reached the newsstands Friday.

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