French ex-spy Daniel Forestier found with five bullets to the head and heart in Alps car park after being linked to attempt on life of exiled Congo-Brazzaville politician
‘I hope that [Forestier], death does not prevent justice being served, but I’m confident.
‘He was not acting alone. There are other suspects’ – General Mbaou added, referring to the plot kill him
Ex-French spy found with five bullets to the head and heart in Alps car park after being linked to international murder plot
Daniel Forestier, 57, was killed in remote car park in te French Alps, near lake Geneva on Mar 21
His lawyer said he was linked to a plot to kill Congo-Brazzaville politician General Ferdinand Mbaou, 62 in 2015
Foriester and another agent, Bruno Susin, were charged with criminal conspiracy over the plot in Sept, 2018
Congo-Brazzaville exile Ferdinand Mbaou who has lived in France for 20 years since fleeing his home country, survived the attempt on his life in 2015, still has a bullet lodged near his heart from the attack
The two ex-spies reportedly had been ‘very worried about their safety’ after some of their personal details, including pictures of Forestier’s home, had been shared on social media
Reacting to the killing, I’m “saddened” said General Mbaou, an outspoken critic of President Denis Sassou Nguesso, who has ruled the former French colony and oil-rich Republic of Congo for some 35 years
French secret agent Daniel Forestier, [left] was shot dead with five bullets to the head and heart in an Alps car park after being linked to a plot to murder Congolese politician General Ferdinand Mbaou [right]
A French secret agent was shot dead with five bullets to the head and heart in an Alps car park after being linked to a plot to murder a Congolese politician.
Daniel Forestier a former secret agent who had been living in the Alps for years, was found dead on March 21 on a remote lay-by outside the village of Ballaison, near Lake Geneva, on the French-Swiss border.
He was discovered in a pool of blood in a parking area off a little-used road in Haute-Savoie near Lake Léman.
Police said the killing was a “professional job”, and a postmortem revealed he had been shot five times. He had been shot five times, including in the head and heart, his lawyer Cedric Huissoud said.
The killing of Forestier, 57, author of several spy novels, came six months after he had been officially put under investigation for his suspected role in a plot to kill an opponent of the regime of Congo-Brazzaville’s president, Denis Sassou-Nguesso.
Forestier is believed to have worked for 14 years for the DGSE – the French equivalent of the CIA or MI6.
‘It’s hard to believe that this murder bore no connection with his implication in the Mbaou affair,’ a source close to the investigation said on condition of anonymity.
News of the death surprised locals in the village of Lucinges, about 12 miles to the south of Ballaison, where Forestier, a father-of-two, had served on the local council.
In an interview with the regional Dauphine Libere newspaper, Mayor Jean-Luc Soulat said he felt ‘a lot of sadness and shock’.
While Forestier’s spy past was no secret after he had used his own money to publish a semi-autobiographical novel entitled ‘Barbouze de la Republique’ [‘Spy for the Republic’], Soulat said he had thrown himself into village life on arriving in Lucinges in 2002.
Forestier first ran a local bar named ‘Escapade’ and later served four years on the local council.
His lawyer said he ‘led a clean-living, peaceful life’ and had never had any brushes with the law before being charged in the plot to murder Mbaou.
‘My client always rejected these incredible allegations, which were based on an account from a single anonymous source,’ Huissoud said.
‘This affair was bizarre from the start,’ Marie-Alix Canu-Bernard, the lawyer of Forestier’s co-accused Bruno Susini, adding that the two ex-spies had been ‘very worried about their safety’ after some of their personal details – including pictures of Forestier’s home, had been shared on social media.
The probe into Forestier’s killing is being led by the same anti-gang crime squad in the city of Lyon which was investigating him over the plot against Mbaou.
Reacting to Forestier’s murder, Mbaou said he was ‘saddened.’
‘I hope that his death does not prevent justice being served, but I’m confident,’ the general added, referring to the alleged plot to kill him, ‘He (Forestier) was not acting alone. There are other suspects.’
In October, Mbaou said he was angry at the reported plot, but ‘not surprised’.
His lawyers said it highlighted the threat to the life of the Congolese politician, who has already survived one attempt on his life in France.
“None of the protagonists in this affair are safe, starting with our client,” they said in a statement.
The 62-year-old general is known for his outspoken attacks on President Denis Sassou Nguesso, who has ruled the former French colony and oil-rich Congo-Brazzaville [pop. 4.5 million], for some 35 years.
Mbaou fled Congo after his former boss, the country’s first democratically-elected president Pascal Lissouba, was overthrown by Sassou Nguesso in 1997.
He had already survived an attempt on his life. Mbaou believes it was the regime that sent hitmen to shoot him in the back as he was leaving his home in Bessancourt north of Paris in November 2015.
He still has the bullet lodged in his torso.
‘The doctors couldn’t remove it because it is in a tricky spot, close to the heart,’ he said.
In September, investigators charged Forestier and another former agent from France’s external intelligence service [DGSE]Bruno Susini, with being part of a criminal conspiracy and possession of explosives in connection with a plot to murder Mbaou.
No one was ever charged over the attack.
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