France tried to blame U.K. for bombing

Nov. 28, 2005 at 9:31 AM

LONDON, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Newly declassified British documents show France tried to blame British intelligence for sinking the Greenpeace agency's ship in New Zealand 20 years ago.

Soon after the bombing in July 1985, French media reported the theory that Britain's foreign intelligence MI6 agency had sunk the Rainbow Warrior as the environmental group was protesting France's nuclear testing in the South Pacific, The Times of London reported.

One Greenpeace member died in the sinking.

Malcolm Rifkind, then a Foreign Office minister, instructed British diplomats in Paris to urgently tell the French government to put a stop to this "campaign of misinformation."

The scandal rocked then French President Francois Mitterand's government, which for more than two months denied responsibility for the act of state terrorism.

Mitterrand eventually fired his Defense minister and the head of the secret service, The Guardian said.

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