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Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior
, was an operation by the "action" branch of the
Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure
), carried out on July 10, 1985. It aimed to sink the
in the port of
, to prevent her from interfering in a
Fernando Pereira, a photographer, drowned on the sinking ship. Two French agents were arrested by the New Zealand Police on passport fraud and immigration charges. They were charged with arson, conspiracy to commit arson, willful damage, and murder. As part of a plea bargain, they pleaded guilty to manslaughter and were sentenced to ten years, of which they served just over two.
The scandal resulted in the resignation of the French Defence Minister
Charles Hernu, and the subject remained controversial. It was twenty years afterwards that the personal responsibility of French President François Mitterrand was admitted.
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