PARIS (Jun. 14)
Attorneys for former Soviet master spy Leopold Trepper said today they will appeal a decision by a French court of appeals annulling a ruling rendered last year in Trepper’s favor. A French criminal court last Nov. 30 ordered the former head of French counter-intelligence, Jean Rochet to pay a 1000 franc (about $220) fine and a one franc (20 cents) symbolic payment of damages for having said in a letter to the-newspaper Le Monde that Trepper, a Jew, had collaborated with the Gestapo during his imprisonment in World War II and had spied on France before the war. Yesterday the appeals court held the criminal court “incompetent” to judge the case.
Attorney Souliez-Lariviere told the JTA the appeals court decision was based “not on the case’s substance but on its form.” The appeals court based its decision on Article 679 of the French Penal Code which provides for special legal procedures for civil servants such as the Prefects of French counties. A few days before the Nov. 30 decision was handed down. Rochet was demoted from his post as head of French counter-intelligence and appointed Perfect of the Meurthe and Moselle Counties. Trepper’s attorney said they were appealing the decision to the French Supreme Court.