Julien Pichené, with AFP 10:08 am, September 21, 2023Journalist Ariane Lavrilleux was released Wednesday night after 48 hours in police custody in an investigation into her articles on a possible hijacking by Egypt of a French intelligence operation, a rare coercive measure that outraged the profession.
Journalist Ariane Lavrilleux was released Wednesday night after 48 hours in police custody in an investigation into her articles on a possible hijacking by Egypt of a French intelligence operation, a rare coercive measure that outraged the profession.
"I am free, thank you very much for your support"
"I am free, thank you very much for your support," wrote on X (ex-Twitter) and in three languages the journalist Wednesday evening, a message accompanied by a photo with her fist raised in front of an Egyptian flag.
I am free, thank you bp for your support!
im free, thx for your support!
انا حرة ،شكرا ليكو! pic.twitter.com/kQDMbFvJUM
— Ariane Lavrilleux (@AriaLavrilleux) September 20, 2023
His lawyer Virginie Marquet confirmed to AFP his release around 21:00 while a source close to the investigation said that his custody was "lifted" while a former soldier, also detained since Tuesday, would be presented to a magistrate for possible prosecution.
An article on the French intelligence mission "Sirli"
"It's okay, she's very combative," Magali Serre, president of Disclose, a media outlet that published its article at the end of 2021, told AFP.
Disclose had claimed in an article published in November 2021 that the French intelligence mission "Sirli", begun in February 2016 for the benefit of Egypt in the name of the fight against terrorism, had been hijacked by the Egyptian state, which used the information collected to carry out air strikes on vehicles of suspected smugglers on the Egyptian-Libyan border.
Following this publication, the French Ministry of the Armed Forces had filed a complaint for "violation of the secrecy of the National Defense".
A preliminary investigation was opened in November 2021 before an investigating judge was appointed in the summer of 2022, according to Disclose. No judicial source could confirm Wednesday evening these elements.
Disclose said Wednesday, on X, that according to its information, "the investigators of the DGSI accuse (the) journalist of having signed five articles on French arms sales abroad, published in the media since 2019". In addition to the one on the "Sirli" operation, Disclose cites articles on "the sale of 30 Rafale aircraft to Egypt", "the weapons delivered to Russia until 2020", "the sale of 150,000 shells to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)" and "the transfer of illicit weapons from the UAE to Libya".