Suspected bomber identified in 1985 Rainbow Warrior bombing

Monday, October 2, 2006

Gerard Royal, brother of French presidential hopeful Ségolène Royal, has been identified as a suspect in the 1985 bombing of the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior. There were two divers who planted the bombs in Auckland Harbour, known to the police after they were photographed in the South Island as Alain Tonel and Jaques Camurier.

New Zealand Police and the New Zealand Government say that they are probably not going to charge anyone else even if they confess to the bombing. Two people, Dominique Prieur and Alain Mafart, were the only ones ever convicted in the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior.

Antoine Royal, brother of Segolene Royal said to Parisien newspaper: "My brother Gerard was a member of the French intelligence sabotage squad who planted the bombs on the Rainbow Warrior. At the time, (Gerard) was a lieutenant and agent of the DGSE (intelligence agency) in Asia. He was asked in 1985 to go to New Zealand, to Auckland harbour, to sabotage the Rainbow Warrior. Later he told me that it was he who planted the bomb on the Greenpeace ship. He took a small craft with a second person to approach the boat."

In 1991 New Zealand made a deal with France to a stay of proceedings of those involved in the bombing.

Antoine added: "He was able to escape the New Zealand authorities, unlike the false Turenge couple who were arrested. My sister learnt that he was present during the operation from a recent article in the press."

Bunny McDiarmid, Greenpeace executive director, who was on the Rainbow Warrior when it was attacked said: "I accept there is now little prospect of the bomber being brought to justice. Those responsible are getting away with murder."

The bombing resulted in the death of one man, photographer Fernando Pereira. Prieur and Mafart were prosecuted for the manslaughter of Pereira, they pleaded guilty. Pereira's daughter, Marelle, said: "My dad has been murdered...I don't see it as manslaughter...I don't see it as accidental killing."