New Zealand: Reduced Charges

French spies plead guilty

The heavily guarded brick-and-stone courthouse in Auckland was jammed with journalists, lawyers and policemen. At 10:31 a.m., Judge Ronald Gilbert entered the chamber, followed moments later by Defendants Dominique Prieur, 36, and Alain Mafart, 35. For the two French intelligence agents, the long-awaited preliminary inquiry was finally under way. At issue: whether the pair would have to face trial for murder and arson in the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior, the flagship of the Greenpeace environmental movement, in Auckland harbor last July 10.

Last September French officials belatedly admitted that unnamed secret-service frogmen had carried out the attack, in which a...

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