Top journalist grilled by French intelligence over Macron bodyguard

Ariane Chemin, who works for the daily Le Monde, said she was questioned by the General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI) for some 45 minutes in the presence of her lawyer after being summoned last week.

"I explained that I only did my job as a journalist," she told AFP after the meeting.

She added that she had insisted on her right to protect her sources while carrying out work in the public interest based on a law dating to 1881.

"They asked me many questions on the manner in which I checked my information, which was an indirect way of asking me about my sources," Chemin said.

Le Monde's managing director Louis Dreyfus was also questioned by the DGSI on Wednesday.

Chemin has written a series of articles over former presidential bodyguard Alexandre Benalla, who was fired last year after he was filmed roughing up a protester in one of the biggest scandals to shake Macron to date.

It was a July 18 article by Chemin that first reported that Benalla had beaten the May Day demonstrator while wearing a police helmet.

The summons stemmed in particular from articles about former air force officer Chokri Wakrim, the partner of Marie-Elodie Poitout, the ex-head of security at the prime minister's office.

Poitout resigned her post after media revelations that she and Wakrim had welcomed Benalla to their home in July but insisted it had only been a social affair.

The Elysee has been accused of covering up the affair by failing to report Benalla to the authorities.

READ ALSO:

'Only doing her job'

The secret service has already summoned seven reporters who published details over how French arms sold to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were being used in Yemen's civil war, sparking an outcry by press freedom

activists.

The SNJ-CGT union called for a demonstration outside the headquarters of the DGSI on Wednesday "in support of those journalists summoned by the French state in violation of the law on press freedom."

The association of Le Monde Reporters (SRM) said on their Twitter account that Chemin was simply "bringing to the attention of citizens information that was in the public interest and thus was only doing her job."

But Justice Minister NiRead More – Source

Comments are closed.