EDF Energy has been convicted by a French court today on charges of spying on global campaign group Greenpeace. The company were fined €1.5 million (£1.28m) and have had members of their staff jailed. More than 1,400 documents were stolen from the Greenpeace France programme director’s computer.
Europe’s largest producer of electricity was charged with complicity in concealing stolen documents and complicity to intrude in a computer network. According to Greenpeace, EDF hired a hacker and a private investigator in 2006 in order to spy on Greenpeace France’s operations. The spying operation monitored Greenpeace while it challenged plans by the UK government to work with EDF to expand its nuclear operations.
Adélaïde Colin, Greenpeace France communications director said: “The fine against EDF, and the damages awarded to Greenpeace send a strong signal to the nuclear industry that no one is above the law. In the run up to the next presidential elections, this verdict shows that the nuclear industry is not compatible with French democracy.”
Two EDF nuclear safety officials and two staff from Kargus Consulting, the company EDF hired to spy, were convicted on charges related to spying. All four were jailed EDF refused to comment on the matter.
Greenpeace has spent several years campaigning against EDF’s nuclear operations; more than three-quarters of the electricity produced in France is from nuclear plants.