Chirac names new chief of intelligence

August 17, 2002

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PARIS, Aug 16: Pierre Brochand, 60, has been named new director of France’s intelligence agency — Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieure (DGSE).

His appointment comes as a surprise as Mr Chirac had let it be known to his confidants that he had been impressed with the accomplishments of Mr Brochand’s predecessor, Jean-Claude Cousseran, and intended to retain him.

But pressure brought to bear by the French president’s rightwing Gaullist party stalwarts apparently resulted in the decision to name somebody closer to their line of thinking.

After being re-elected to the French presidency on May 5, Mr Chirac had decided to sack the country’s other principal espionage figure, Jean-Jacques Pascal, director of the DST (the French equivalent of the FBI), for having leaked derogatory information on the French head of state pertaining to his financial relations with the presidents of Lebanon and Japan.