Former French president linked to 1985 bombing of Greenpeace ship

Late French President François Mitterrand sanctioned plans to sabotage a Greenpeace ship in 1985, according to a just-uncovered report by the top French intelligence official who devised the plan. The ship, the Rainbow Warrior, was bombed in a New Zealand port, where the crew was preparing to protest French nuclear testing at Mururoa Atoll in the South Pacific. Greenpeace photographer Fernando Pereira was killed. Two French agents involved in the plot were arrested in New Zealand, leading to an international scandal and the resignation of top French officials. On Saturday, French newspaper Le Monde reprinted portions of a 1986 report allegedly written by Admiral Pierre Lacoste, former head of French foreign intelligence, who said he got Mitterrand’s approval to act against Greenpeace. “He gave me his agreement while stressing the importance he attached to the nuclear tests,” Lacoste wrote. Mitterrand claimed at the time to be ignorant of the plan. “We’ve always held him responsible,” says Greenpeace’s Steve Sawyer from New Zealand, where commemorations to mark the bombing’s 20th anniversary were held on Sunday.