Pacific Media Watch

4 September 2015

GLOBAL: The Rainbow bomber - TVNZ's Sunday talks to the French chief saboteur

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One of the two Rainbow Warrior bombers speaks out. Image: TVNZ

AUCKLAND (Television New Zealand/Pacific Media Watch): Thirty years after the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland harbour, journalists from TVNZ’s Sunday current affairs show have tracked down the French secret service agent who actually planted the bombs that sank the Greenpeace campaign ship and killed Fernando Pereira.

Now retired, Colonel Jean-Luce Kister apologised to Pereira's family and the people of New Zealand over the bombing.

He denied the act was a case of state-sponsored terrorism and said that as a soldier he regarded it as a simple sabotage mission.

The bombing rocked New Zealand and shocked the Pacific and the world.

It was an act of state-sponsored terrorism and the culprits were never properly held to account.

But it didn’t have the desired effect - Greenpeace and its supporters were not put off and the global environmental organisation only grew stronger.

It united New Zealand in standing up against the threat of a nuclear future and inspired us to lead the world as a nuclear-free country.

Pete Willcox was the captain on that night on 10 July 1985 and he is also currently skipper on Rainbow Warrior III in the Pacific confronting the tuna industry.

Next month's Pacific Journalism Review is carrying an exclusive report on French journalist Edwy Plenel's La Troisième Équipe - The Third Team.

You can follow Pete Willcox and the crew here

Watch the full TVNZ Sunday programme on the Rainbow Warrior

More on the Rainbow Warrior on Storify below

Pacific Media Watch

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Pacific Media Watch is compiled for the Pacific Media Centre as a regional media freedom and educational resource by a network of journalists, students, stringers and commentators. (cc) Creative Commons