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Two questioned over Ikea France spy scandal

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Two questioned over Ikea France spy scandal
07:15 CET+01:00
Two former employees of Ikea France were questioned by a magistrate on Tuesday over their alleged involvement in a spying scandal that threatened to tarnish the squeaky-clean Swedish furniture giant's image when it emerged last year.

Both Jean-Francois Paris, a former head of the French subsidiary's risk department, and his female deputy, who was not named, were questioned and the latter placed on probation for illegally obtaining data files, according to a judicial source.

Ikea confirmed that its employee had been questioned but declined to comment further.

French prosecutors launched a criminal probe in April last year following allegations that Ikea paid for illegal access to secret police files to gain information about employees, clients, and even people who came near its property.

Satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine broke the story in February 2012 by publishing what it said were emails between Paris and Yann Messian of security company Surete International about getting access to police STIC files.

The controversial STIC file system has been criticized for being an unreliable database of millions of names and personal information about crime perpetrators, victims and even witnesses.

The newspaper said that Surete International offered access to the files for €80 (about $100) a time, as well as to a database of vehicle owners.

Keen to repair its reputation, Ikea subsequently fired four employees, launched an internal inquiry and established a code of conduct last July to avoid a repeat of the scandal.

AFP/The Local/dl

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