Bernard Squarcini, former head of domestic intelligence, is due to appear before the Paris Criminal Court. He is accused of having used his connections in the police force to obtain confidential information and personal advantages, in particular for the benefit of Bernard Arnault, the head of LVMH and his group.
A series of twists and turns worthy of the great Mafia films. The former head of domestic intelligence, Bernard Squarcini, is to appear before the Paris Criminal Court. He is suspected of having illegally used his connections to obtain confidential information for private interests, mainly for luxury goods giant LVMH and its CEO Bernard Arnault.
Nicknamed “Le Squale”, 67-year-old Bernard Squarcini is at the heart of the investigation, which began twelve years ago because of his links with the luxury goods group LVMH. While he was initially indicted in 2016, the charges against him were broadened in 2021. He will be tried for eleven offenses, including passive influence peddling, embezzlement of public funds by a private individual, compromising the secrecy of national defense, breach of trust, forgery in public writing, complicity and concealment in the violation of professional and investigative secrecy.
In an order dated September 1, two investigating judges also ordered the trial of ten other people, including a former magistrate, a prefect and former senior police officers and consultants. These individuals are suspected of having responded, to varying degrees, to Bernard Squarcini’s requests.
But the road to these accusations was a long one. Born in Rabat (Morocco) in 1955, Bernard Squarcini holds a master’s degree in law and is a graduate of the Institute of Criminology. Head of the Brest Renseignements Généraux department in 1981, he then became deputy regional director of the Corsican Renseignements Généraux (1983-1988), then departmental director of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques Renseignements Généraux in 1988-1989, before being appointed head of the “investigation and research” division at the Renseignements Généraux central headquarters in 1989. In 1993, Bernard Squarcini was appointed Deputy Director of Research at the Central Intelligence Service. In July 1994, he was appointed Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Service (DCRG).
Bernard Squarcini was one of the architects of the 2003 arrest of Yvan Colonna, the presumed assassin of Prefect Claude Érignac, while Nicolas Sarkozy was Minister of the Interior. In 2007, he was appointed Director of Territorial Surveillance (DST). On July 2, 2008, he was appointed head of the Direction centrale du renseignement intérieur (DCRI), created from the merger of the DST and the DCRG.
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