Spy chiefs deny plotting to kill terrorist's lawyer: French authorities say Verges was not an assassination target, while Khartoum seeks reward for trapping fugitive

THE former chiefs of France's secret services yesterday rejected claims by Jacques Verges, the lawyer representing the terrorist Carlos, that the state sought his assassination in the early 1980s.

Mr Verges, who has been accused of being an operational member of Carlos's group, said at the end of last week that the secret services had received instructions to eliminate him.

His claim gained limited credibility when an equally controversial former gendarmerie officer - who, incidentally, has also been a client of the left-wing lawyer - said he knew Mr Verges' allegation to be true. Mr Verges, meanwhile, said in a television interview that the order came 'from the head of state, that is, from Francois Mitterrand'. It was a continuation of the former Communist lawyer's long-standing feud with the French non-Marxist left.

But Pierre Marion, who was head of the French espionage service at the time Mr Verges said his life was threatened, and Yves Bonnet, who ran the counter-espionage agency, both denied there had ever been an assassination list featuring Mr Verges. The charge was the fabrication of 'mediatisation addicts', Mr Bonnet said.

The affair brought together two of modern France's more bizarre personalities, Captain Paul Barril, the former head of the gendarmerie's elite commando squad and security adviser to Mr Mitterrand, and Mr Verges, whose varied biography and propensity to defend cases which embarrass the French state are legendary.

Mr Barril left the police because of the case of the Vincennes Irishmen soon after Mr Mitterrand's first election to the presidency in 1981. Irishmen living in the Paris suburb of Vincennes were found to have had arms planted in their home. It was alleged that the police, including Mr Barril, seeking a public victory against terrorism, had tried to frame the Irishmen.

Since then, Mr Barril has surfaced from time to time in odd circumstances. Recently he said he possessed the 'black box' from the plane in which the Rwandan and Burundian presidents died when their aircraft was shot down on 6 April. That led to the massacres in Rwanda which prompted France to send troops there.

However, upon examination, Mr Barril's piece of equipment turned out to be another, less important, part of the plane. It was not related to the flight recorder.

Mr Barril said in a television interview that Mr Verges had been a 'priority target' because 'he was in the centre of all terrorist contacts'.

Mr Verges, who defended Klaus Barbie, the Nazi 'Butcher of Lyons' and a series of terrorists in the 1980s, first made his name defending Algerian nationalists during the 1954-62 Algerian war.

He disappeared for most of the 1970s, a period about which he refuses to comment. One version of his activities has the lawyer in the entourage of Pol Pot after the Khmer Rouges embarked on bloody massacres following their takeover of Cambodia in 1975.

The various Verges charges first started when Le Monde said that the Stasi, the former East German security police, had evidence in its archives that Mr Verges had been an actual member of the Carlos group. The charges have served to overshadow the case of Carlos himself, who was put into a French jail last week after being deported from Sudan.

The latest episode had the Stasi believing that Mr Verges in fact worked for the American CIA, the conservative daily Le Figaro reported yesterday. It said that documents showed the Stasi worked on the theory that his defence of Barbie had been organised by the CIA.

Mr Verges is also accused of helping to set up a bomb attack on a French nuclear reactor 12 years ago. He told Le Figaro that this allegation was 'a divine surprise. Verges is not just a sleeping agent but a terrorist. Let them charge me then.'

Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
News
i100
News
The Digicub app, for young fans
advertisingNSPCC 'extremely concerned'
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Data Scientist (Data Mining, RSPSS, R, AI, CPLEX, SQL)

£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...

Law Costs

Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - This is a very unusual law c...

Junior VB.NET Application Developer (ASP.NET, SQL, Graduate)

£28000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior VB.NET ...

C# .NET Web Developer (ASP.NET, JavaScript, jQuery, XML, XLST)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Web De...

Day In a Page

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model of a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution