French nuclear giants EDF have been fined €1.5m (£1.28m) by a Paris court for hiring spooks to hack computers and gather info on eco group Greenpeace.
Two EDF security bosses - ex-cop Pierre-Paul Francois and former Rear Admiral Pascal Durieux - were given suspended jail sentences for "complicity in computer piracy". Greenpeace received €500,000 (£428,300) in damages.
Thierry Lorho, a former secret service officer who heads up the Kargus security firm – the biz hired by EDF to do the document-fingering for them – was also given a suspended jail sentence, along with an information specialist who was a Kargus employee.
The main victim of the hacks, activist Yannick Jadot, has received €50,000 (£42,800) in damages. Around 1,400 documents were stolen from Jadot's computer following the start of the operation in 2006.
An EDF lawyer told Reuters that the nuclear power firm denies all knowledge of the hack and would appeal its fine.
Otherwise EDF has remained schtum. A spokeswoman in Paris told The Reg "we make no comments on Greenpeace, nothing at all" and a press officer for EDF Energy in the UK was careful to distance it from the drama: "It's a French story about the French business, it's nothing to do with us," he said.
EDF runs eight nuclear stations in the UK and plans to build four new reactors, two at Sizewell in Suffolk and two at Hinkley Point in Somerset.
The convicted EDF security blokes were acting alone and wanted information in particular on Greenpeace's plan to block their nuclear expansion in the UK, it was reported. ®