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.'

Sport
Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: More misery for hosts as Dutch take third place
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
scienceScientists have developed a material so dark you can't see it...
News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
News
Soft power: Matthew Barzun
peopleThe US Ambassador to London, Matthew Barzun, holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence. He says it's all part of the job
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
News
Gavin Maxwell in Sandaig with one of his pet otters
peopleWas the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?
News
Rowsell says: 'Wearing wigs is a way of looking normal. I pick a style and colour and stick to it because I don't want to keep wearing different styles'
peopleThe World Champion cyclist Joanna Rowsell on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
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
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

Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, Accreditation, ITIL)

£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...

C# Developer (HTML5, JavaScript, ASP.NET, Mathematics, Entity)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Integration Developer (.NET, Tibco EMS, SQL 2008/2012, XML)

£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...

Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?