Roger Auque

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Roger Henri Auque (January 11, 1956 – September 8, 2014) was a French journalist, war correspondent, and diplomat, and Israeli spy.[1] He served as France's Ambassador to Eritrea from 2009 to 2012.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Auque was born in Roubaix, France, on January 11, 1956. His father was a Gaullist, while his mother (née Baudry) was a French Communist.[2] Roger Auque identified with the French right and became a member of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP).[2]

Auque began his career as a freelance reporter in the late 1980s during the Lebanese Civil War.[2] He worked closely with member of Lebanon's Phalange political party during the war.[2] He also became friends with Uri Lubrani, the Israeli governor of coordinator of South Lebanon security belt from 1983 to 2000.[2]

Auque was arrested by Hezbollah in January 1987 after being suspected of espionage activity on behalf of the Israelis.[2] He was one of the first Western journalists and espionage agents to be held by Hezbollah during the war.[2] Auque was held with another French journalist, Jean-Louis Normandin, of Antenne 2 TV (present-day France 2).[2] In a 2014 interview with Le Parisien, Normadin recalled their captivity, "We met in the trunk of a car in Beirut, later we have been freed together, on the same evening… He was a charmer… always keep smiling… [with] sincerity, enthusiasm, energy."[2] Auque became a devout Catholic after receiving a Bible from one of his captors.[2] Both Auque and Normandin were freed in November 1987 following negotiations and financial payments from then French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac and Interior Minister Charles Pasqua.[2]

Auque authored two books, including an autobiographical account of his captivity by Hezbollah. Ronen Bergman, an Israeli journalist, documented Auque's 1987 captivity in a chapter of his book, The Secret War With Iran: The 30-Year Clandestine Struggle Against the World’s Most Dangerous Terrorist Power, which was published in 2008.[2]

Roger Auque was sent to Rome as a reporter for RTL following his release.[2] He also covered stories in the Middle East, Africa, and Yugoslavia. He authored pieces on Israeli affairs for several French magazines, including Le Figaro Magazine, Paris Match, and VSD.[2] He covered the Iraq War from Baghdad for Yediot Aharonot using the pen name, Pierre Baudry (Baudry is his mother's maiden name).[2] He worked in Baghdad until 2006 when he returned to Beirut for two years.[2]

In 2008, Auque returned to France to pursue politics and diplomacy. He was elected a Paris municipal councilor in 2008 as a member of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP).[2] Auque served as the French Ambassador to Eritrea from 2009 to 2012.[2] He became friends with the Israeli Ambassador to Eritrea, Guy Feldman, during his tenure.[2]

Roger Auque died from brain cancer on September 8, 2014, at the age of 58. He had been treated at Val-de-Grâce military hospital during his illness.[2][3] He revealed in a book published posthumously in 2015 that he had been a Mossad agent.[4][5]

Family[edit]

He is the father of Vladimir Auque, Carla Auque and Marion Maréchal-Le Pen.[6][7]

His daughter Maréchal-Le Pen was a member of the National Front party. She was born in 1989, to Yann le Penn, daughter of National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, and was raised within Yann's marriage to Samuel Maréchal, a fact only revealed publicly in 2013 in a book by Christine Clerc titled Les Conquérantes.[8] In 2012, Maréchal-Le Pen was elected France's youngest MP ever.[9] Marion Maréchal sued French weekly newsmagazine L'Express for a "serious invasion of her privacy," and won her case in April 2015.[10][11][12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Zilberstein, Lior (2015-02-17). "The Israeli agent behind enemy lines". Ynetnews.com. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Stritch, Joseph (2014-09-10). "Obituary: Roger Auque, war correspondent, hostage, diplomat, adventurer". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2014-10-04.
  3. ^ Ayad, Christophe (2014-09-11). "Roger Auque, journaliste et diplomate". Le Monde. Retrieved 2014-10-04.
  4. ^ Winstanley, Asa (20 February 2015). "Spies posing as journalists endanger us all". Middle East Monitor. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  5. ^ Le Cain, Blandine (6 February 2015). "Les confidences posthumes de l'ex-otage au Liban Roger Auque". Le Figaro. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  6. ^ http://www.vanityfair.fr/enquetes/articles/article-magazine-marion-marechal-le-pen-la-plus-lepeniste-des-le-pen/51427
  7. ^ http://www.parismatch.com/Actu/Politique/Il-evoque-Marion-Marechal-Le-Pen-sa-fille-Les-confidences-posthumes-de-Roger-Auque-703076
  8. ^ "L'identité du véritable père de Marion Maréchal-Le Pen dévoilée". Le Parisien.
  9. ^ The next Le Pen: 25-year-old ‘true darling’, Politico, by Nicholas Vinocur, 20 Apr 2015
  10. ^ https://www.lexpress.fr/actualite/politique/marion-marechal-le-pen-attaque-l-express_1298019.html
  11. ^ https://rassemblementnational.fr/communiques/communique-de-presse-de-wallerand-de-saint-just-avocat-de-marion-marechal-le-pen/
  12. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/16/marion-marechal-le-pen-young-face-france-far-right-front-national