French justice has demanded an “exemplary” sentence of two million euros against Ikea France, accused of spying on hundreds of workers, and a year in prison for one of its former leaders.
The subject of this case is “protecting our private lives against a threat, that of mass surveillance,” said prosecutor Paméla Tabardel before the Versailles Court near Paris, requesting that the criminal response send a “message strong “aimed at” all commercial companies “.
Revealed by the weekly Le Canard Enchaîné and the news website Mediapart, in 2012, the case was brought after a union complaint, which shook Ikea France, which then sacked four of its leaders.
This case showed a surveillance system for workers and some clients, including their background, their way of life and their heritage.
Among the defendants are also 15 individuals, including store managers, police officers, the boss of a private investigative firm and former executives, such as former chief executive Stefan Vanoverbeke and his predecessor Jean-Louis Baillot, present. on the first day of the trial.
Today, the prosecutor requested the release of two officers, but requested three years in prison, two of which with suspended sentence, for Baillot, who ran the company between 1996 and 2009. “I wish a penalty that marks the life of Jean-Louis Baillot “, he justified, adding that the” policy initiated “by him had affected the lives of about 400 workers, who were the target of” private investigations “.
The facts on trial occurred between 2009 and 2012, but the illegal practices date back to 2000. Those three years are the only ones under consideration due to the statute of limitations.
Ikea’s former security officer, Jean-François Paris, was the only leader to admit the employees’ “massive controls” in court. The prosecutor demanded three years in prison, two of which were suspended.
In an audience, Paris repeated that it followed orders from Jean-Louis Baillot.
Director of risk management at Ikea France from 2002 to 2012, Jean-François Paris transmitted the lists of people to “test” to Eirpace, directed by Jean-Pierre Fourès.
The owner of this company specializing in “business advice” is accused of having access to police files through police officers.
Former police officer of the ‘Renseignements Généraux’ (RG, the former police intelligence service), Fourès had laughed at the court when he was questioned, saying he had only used “imagination and ingenuity” to get the information he wanted. The prosecutor requested that he be sentenced to one year in prison.
The defense will argue on Thursday.