Each day brings something new in Renault’s EV-related espionage affair. This time Bertrand Rochette, one of the three employees fired by the company, has appealed directly to French President Nicolas Sarkozy to intervene in the case. More specifically, Rochette's lawyers have called on Sarkozy and Justice Minister Michel Mercier to demand they be given access to the legal complaint Renault filed in January against unknown persons.
The lawyers based their request on the fact that their client doesn't know exactly what the complaint contains, although it involves him directly. Furthermore, the attorneys said Rochette's right to defend himself had been compromised since he can't appeal against Renault in court without knowing what he's accused of.
"We can envisage keeping an investigation secret to avoid any interference or hindrance, but public statements about the accusations should immediately be accompanied by transmitting full information to the person concerned about what he is accused of," legal advisers wrote in the document sent on Thursday.
Interesting times lie ahead in the investigation, with a key part of the case to be unwrapped in the coming days. Results of official probes into whether or not the three executives had bank accounts in Switzerland or Liechtenstein are expected soon and they could prove the innocence of the three ex-employees. If that happens, Renault's top management will have a lot of explaining to do.
By Dan Mihalascu