Former spy chief charges rejected

A Paris appeals court has rejected two of three charges against the former head of France’s domestic intelligence agency over allegedly illegal monitoring of a journalist’s phone conversations.

The case against former DCRI police agency chief Bernard Squarcini was an issue in France’s presidential campaign this year.

DCRI was said to have illegally collected records of phone conversations between a Le Monde newspaper reporter and a Justice Ministry source under President Nicolas Sarkozy – an ally of Mr Squarcini.

Mr Sarkozy lost the presidency to Socialist Francois Hollande in May.

Defence lawyer Patrick Maisonneuve said on Thursday that the dismissed charges were violating the right to secret correspondence and receiving improper records.

Mr Squarcini could face up to five years in prison if convicted on the remaining charge related to the improper gathering of personal information.

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