PARIS -- Authorities confirmed Friday that a body found in a suburban forest was that of missing renegade homosexual pastor Joseph Douce, and charges mounted over the conduct of a secretive police intelligence unit that had been investigating the former clergyman.
The state prosecutor in Versailles, Roger Tacheau, said dental records were used in the examination, which showed the man died on or about July 20, the day after Douce disappeared from his Paris apartment.
'It is definitively the body of Joseph Douce,' Tacheau said.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Pierre Joxe distanced himself Friday from what he called 'morally damnable' tactics allegedly used by Renseignments Generaux, the police intelligence unit that had Douce under suveillance at the time of his disappearance.
It is a specialized unit in charge of internal security and anti- terrorist investigations. It came under increasing fire this week for its role in the Douce case and a 1987 burglary at the headquarters of SOS Racisme, a civil rights action group.
An inspector considered a prime suspect in the death of Douce has charged that he is being used as a scapegoat to cover up the units attempt to use homosexual prostitutes to embarrass top government and business leaders.
Joxe said he was 'disgusted' by methods allegedly used by the police unit.
'I will never order (policemen) to use methods of thugs to obtain documents of civil rights organizations,' Joxe said. 'The police can function on a legal basis without using procedures that are morally damnable.'
Interior ministry officials have acknowledged that documents from SOS-Racisme were found in the files of Renseignements Generaux, further implicating police in questionable tactics.
Opposition leaders in the National Assembly have requested a parliamentary inquiry into the methods of Renseignments Generaux. The Socialist majority has blocked the request.
Witnesses said Douce was last seen the evening of July 19 leaving his apartment with two men carrying police badges who asked the pastor to follow them.
The inspector under suspicion, Jean-Marc Dufourg, had been assigned to surveillance of Douce. An investigation by a police internal affairs unit, however, has failed to turn up any concrete information about what happened to the pastor.
Dufourg, in a series of interviews with the daily Le Figaro, maintained that he was involved in a project by Renseignements Generaux to use homosexual prostitutes to seek to compromise former Justice Minister Pierre Arpaillange and Philippe Guilhaume, head of the state- run Antenne 2 television network.
'I received the order to recruit a young homosexual to seduce the two persons ... my superiors were aware of this,' Dufourg told the Le Figaro newspaper. 'The plan was never put into effect, because we did not get the green light.'
Douce's body was discovered by a mushroom gatherer Oct. 18 in the Rambouillet Forest west of Paris. He had been defrocked by French Baptist and Protestant authorities because of his militant defense of homosexuals and other 'sexual minorities.'
The police unit reportedly began watching Douce as part of an investigation into alleged paedophilia.