Bernard Squarcini

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Person.png Bernard Squarcini  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(spook)
Bernard Squarcini.jpg
Born1955
Rabat, French Morocco
NationalityFrench
Alma materAix-Marseille University
InterestsBernard Arnault
RelativesMichel Scarbonchi
French spook close to Nicolas Sarkozy. Revealed that the French government showed little interest in finding Syrian jihadists.

Employment.png Director

In office
2 July 2008 - 30 May 2012
EmployerGeneral Directorate for Internal Security
Appointed byNicolas Sarkozy
Preceded byBernard Squarcini

Employment.png Director

In office
28 June 2007 - 2 July 2008
EmployerDirection de la surveillance du territoire
Succeeded byBernard Squarcini

Bernard Squarcini (nicknamed "Squale" English: The Shark) is a French spook who was the leader of the General Directorate for Internal Security (DCRI).

Government intelligence

Squarcini worked in various intelligence services since 1983. In February 2004 he was appointed deputy prefect for security and defence in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region.

He intervened in 2006 to promote reconciliation between Nicolas Sarkozy and arms dealer Alexandre Djouhri, organizing a meeting between the two men.[1]

From 2007, Squarcini was head of the French domestic intelligence service Direction de la surveillance du territoire (DST), which was merged with the Central Directorate of General Intelligence to form the new French domestic intelligence service General Directorate for Internal Security (DCRI).

Squarcini was head of the French General Directorate for Internal Security from 2 July 2008 to 30 May2012. He was in charge of counterterrorism intelligence in Corsica, Basque Country and against Islamic extremism.

In October 17, 2011, while he is still director of the DCRI, Squarcini was indicted by judge Sylvia Zimmermann for "breach of the secrecy of correspondence", "illicit collection of data" and "concealment of professional secrecy", in the context of the Bettencourt affair.[2] In December 2012, the Paris Court of Appeal annuled two of the three charges against Bernard Squarcin, but remained indicted for "collection of personal data by fraudulent, unfair or illicit means"[3]. In April 2014, he was fined 8,000 euros for this.[4]

On 30 May 2012 he was replaced by his former deputy, Patrick Calvar, and became prefect.[5]

Private intelligence

In 2012, shortly after his departure from the leadership of the DCRI, Bernard Squarcini asked the agency to set up a major surveillance system, intended to identify the author of blackmail targeting Bernard Arnault, the owner of the LVMH group . An employee of the luxury group would ultimately be identified and dismissed[6]. Le Canard Enchaîné made the connection between this clandestine operation at the expense of the state and the generous contract signed by LVMH with Bernard Squarcini when he his left government job.[7]

In 2012 he created his company Kyrnos Conseil where he sells his services as an independent consultant.[8] The main customer is the luxury goods corporation LMVG, owed by billionaire Bernard Arnault.[9]

In June 2013 he became Senior Advisor to the Chairman at Arcanum Global[10], a global strategic intelligence company and a subsidiary of Magellan Investment Holdings, of which M. Ron Wahid is the Chairman.[11] Established 23 March 2015, Magellan Investment Holdings is a holding company with investments in financial services, energy and natural resources, defense, technology and real estate. Magellan is the parent company of two subsidiaries: Arcanum, a global intelligence firm, and RJI Capital, a corporate finance and strategic advisory company.[12][13] In 2015, Squarcini was President of Arcanum France, the company’s European branch.[11]

Activities

Between 2015 and 2016, he allegedly supervised the espionage of François Ruffin and the magazine Fakir's journalists on behalf of LVMH. The MP François Ruffin was allegedly the subject of surveillance for nearly three years by Bernard Squarcini at the request of the LVMH group during the filming of the documentary Merci Patron!.[14] In October 2019, the legal system broadened its investigation to "theft" and "concealment of theft" after a complaint from Ruffin.[15]

In June 2021 Squarcini was indicted for three new charges[16], including complicity in invasion of privacy, and for spying on François Ruffin and his newspaper Fakir for the benefit of the multinational LVMH.[17] In 2021, LVMH accepted a 10 million euro public interest judicial agreement (CJIP) proposed by the Paris prosecutor's office.[18] Strict judicial control prohibited Squarcini from appearing in the premises of the DGSI in Levallois-Perret, from entering into contact with the other protagonists in the case and with any official of the central direction of the judicial police and the intelligence services.

In September 28, 2016, after two days in police custody, Squarcini was indicted for numerous charges such as "violation of the secrecy of the investigation", "influence peddling", "misappropriation of public funds", "compromising", "obstruction of investigations", "forgery in public writing and use", "concealment of violation of the secrecy of the investigation", and "breach of the secrecy of correspondence by a person holding public authority".[19]

Furthermore, Squarcini is accused of having transmitted to Michel Gaudin, Nicolas Sarkozy's chief of staff, information relating to the Cahuzac affair, as well as of having wiretapped an official from the racing and games department who was investigating on the Wagram gaming circle, arguing its supposed proximity to the Algerian secret services. The judicial investigation also highlighted the important privileges obtained from the DGSI by Squarcini after he was no longer in office, such as the deletion of the entry in the "S" file of Russian billionaire Andreï Skoch, residence permits for two Russian women close to Alexandre Djouhri, the search for dozens of names in confidential files, or even an intervention in favor of Bernard Arnault's wife.[20][21]

Interviews

Government shielding jihadists

In a 2015 interview, Squarcini told that Prime Minister Manuel Valls refused an offer from Syrian intelligence, passed through Squarcini, to provide more details on French jihadists fighting in Syria. Valls' refusal was motivated by "ideological reasons," Squarcini said.[22] Valls also "did not take protective measures after a 1st attack plan in 2011".[23]

Russia-Ukraine war

In a February 2023 interview, Squarcini analyzed that since the Russians were not able to "finish the conflict in three days like Blitzkrieg", it was because they were "highly anticipated", thanks to the information collected by the United States. It is also obvious in his eyes that this war is also American, after years of "tightening NATO's grip" around Russia. According to him, French and Europeans are involved, under pressure from Washington, "in a coalition that we did not necessarily want, and with sanctions that are turning against us".[24]


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References

  1. Benoît Collombat, L'Empire qui ne veut pas mourir: Une histoire de la Françafrique, Seuil, 2021, p. 773.
  2. https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.leparisien.fr/affaire-bettencourt/affaire-des-fadettes-mise-en-examen-du-contre-espion-squarcini-17-10-2011-1657609.php
  3. https://archive.wikiwix.com/cache/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.lefigaro.fr%2Fflash-actu%2F2012%2F12%2F13%2F97001-20121213FILWWW00609-mise-en-examen-de-squarcini-en-partie-annulee.php
  4. https://www.lemonde.fr/societe/article/2014/04/08/fadettes-squarcini-condamne-a-8-000-euros-d-amende_4397675_3224.html
  5. « Valls remplace le trio de tête de la hiérarchie policière », Le Monde, 30 May 2012
  6. https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Canard_Encha%C3%AEn%C3%A9
  7. https://archive.wikiwix.com/cache/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.challenges.fr%2Feconomie%2Fbernard-squarcini-l-ex-patron-de-la-dcri-va-travailler-pour-bernard-arnault-le-president-de-lvmh_9369
  8. Squarcini: «Trop haut trop vite, trop corse», Corse Matin, 26 May 2014
  9. https://archive.wikiwix.com/cache/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.lopinion.fr%2Fpolitique%2Favec-bernard-squarcini-dit-le-squale
  10. https://web.archive.org/web/20151219020203/http://www.arcanumglobal.com/arcanum-global-team/our-executive-team/
  11. a b https://www.intelligenceonline.com/corporate-intelligence_consultants/2015/10/07/squarcini-brings-arcanum-to-paris,108105151-ART
  12. https://www.gbrbusiness.com/company/Magellan-Investment-Holdings-Limited
  13. https://magellanholdings.co.uk/
  14. https://archive.wikiwix.com/cache/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.fr%2Fpolitique%2Farticle%2Ffrancois-ruffin-et-fakir-espionnes-par-lvmh-selon-mediapart_145289.html
  15. https://archive.wikiwix.com/cache/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.lexpress.fr%2Fsociete%2Fjustice%2Faffaire-squarcini-la-justice-a-elargi-son-enquete-apres-une-plainte-de-ruffin_2130693.html
  16. https://archive.wikiwix.com/cache/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.lemonde.fr%2Fpolice-justice%2Farticle%2F2016%2F09%2F26%2Fl-ex-directeur-du-renseignement-interieur-bernard-squarcini-place-en-garde-a-vue_5003734_1653578.html
  17. https://archive.wikiwix.com/cache/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.lefigaro.fr%2Factualite-france%2Fsoupconne-d-avoir-surveille-francois-ruffin-l-ex-patron-du-renseignement-a-nouveau-mis-en-examen-20210831
  18. https://archive.wikiwix.com/cache/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.francetvinfo.fr%2Fsociete%2Fjustice%2Faffaire-bernard-squarcini-la-justice-valide-un-accord-avec-lvmh-qui-paie-10-millions-d-euros-pour-eviter-des-poursuites_4884857.html
  19. https://archive.wikiwix.com/cache/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.lemonde.fr%2Fpolice-justice%2Farticle%2F2016%2F09%2F28%2Fl-ex-patron-du-renseignement-interieur-bernard-squarcini-presente-a-la-justice_5004914_1653578.html
  20. https://archive.wikiwix.com/cache/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.lemonde.fr%2Fsociete%2Farticle%2F2016%2F11%2F04%2Fles-methodes-peu-orthodoxes-de-l-ex-espion-bernard-squarcini_5025157_3224.html
  21. https://archive.wikiwix.com/cache/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nouvelobs.com%2Fjustice%2F20161102.OBS0595%2Fcombines-passe-droits-bernard-squarcini-l-ex-espion-qui-s-y-croyait-encore.html
  22. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/11/27/pari-n27.html
  23. https://policeetrealites.com/2020/05/16/%F0%9F%87%AB%F0%9F%87%B7-interview-de-bernard-squarcini-ancien-directeur-du-renseignement-interieur/
  24. https://www.lemonde.fr/en/france/article/2023/02/24/bernard-squarcini-former-head-of-french-domestic-intelligence-is-openly-sympathetic-to-russia_6017151_7.html
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