Mark Kennedy spied on French activists too

IssueApril - May 2018
News by David Polden

On 18 March, French prosecutors finally admitted that they were relying on information supplied by British undercover police officer Mark Kennedy, in a case against the Tarnac group of French activists, in a trial due to close just after PN goes to press.

Kennedy, who used the name ‘Mark Stone’ while undercover, was sent to France to spy on the Tarnac group in June 2008 as an officer of the UK national public order intelligence unit (NPOIU), according to secret NPOIU documents released by The Canary.

Five months later, the TGV, the French high-speed railway, was disrupted on three lines by steel rods placed on overhead power cables. No damage was done and there was no risk to the public, though 20,000 passengers were left stranded after 100 trains were cancelled.

Around 150 police officers then raided the Tarnac group, arresting 12 people and charging some with terrorism – charges which were not dropped until 2017. Now, 10 years after the events, four Tarnac activists, Julien Coupat, Yildune Levy, Elsa Hauck and Bertrand Devaud are being tried on conspiracy charges and face up to 10 years in prison. Four others from Tarnac are being tried alongside them for lesser offences.

Topics: Repression, Police