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Prouteau graduated from Saint-Cyr in 1969. He joined the Commandos of the Gendarmerie and became an instructor. In 1973, in response to the Munich massacre, French authorities decided to create an elite unit capable of countering acts of terrorism. Prouteau was selected to organise the GIGN.
Prouteau lead GIGN for 9 years, leading 64 interventions. He was severely wounded in 1980.
From 1982 to 1988, Prouteau directed the 'Anti-terrorist Cell' of the Élysée which was involved in the Élysée wiretap scandal and the "Irish of Vincennes" affair. In 2005, he was sentenced to eight months with parole and fined 5000 Euros for his involvement in the wiretap scandal.
Prouteau organised the security of the 1992 Winter Olympics.
He now ranks as a préfet.
- (in French) Christian PROUTEAU, gign.org