Two retired French spies suspected of handing secrets to foreign power

 Two retired French spies suspected of handing secrets to foreign power

PARIS (Reuters) - Two retired French spies are suspected of passing state secrets to a foreign power, France's Ministry of Defence said on Thursday.

The ministry did not say in its statement which foreign government the intelligence agents are alleged to have been working as double agents for, or when they were working for France's DGSE, equivalent to Britain's MI6.

They were questioned on events "likely to constitute the offenses of treason by delivering information to a foreign power ... and violating national security secrecy laws," the ministry said in a statement.

The spouse of one of the two former spies was also under preliminary investigation, the ministry added.

The three were presented before an investigating judge who must decide whether to open a formal investigation, which would take the legal process one step closer to trial. Under French law, however, a suspect is not formally charged with a crime unless he is sent to trial.

(Reporting by Richard Lough; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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Updated Date: May 25, 2018 05:05:20 IST