Here's how Catherine Colonna lured Martin Ryan into French secret service trap
    Journalist Nikolyan debunks Paris

    POLITICS  31 January 2024 - 12:29

    French journalist of Armenian origin Leo Nikolyan has given French radio Kernews some details of the high-profile spy scandal in Azerbaijan that erupted last December, beginning with the declaration of two French diplomats persona non grata and their expulsion from the country, and ending with the detention and arrest for four months of French businessman Martin Ryan on suspicion of espionage.

    According to Nikolyan, who spoke to Ryan's lawyer and family, Martin decided to develop his business in Azerbaijan, where he moved five years ago. According to him, Ryan made a good living in Azerbaijan and was even engaged to a beautiful local woman. However, as France has a significant Armenian community, this has implications for French foreign policy. President Macron supports Armenia.

    "Last year, representatives of the French secret services visited Martin Ryan. They are two 'diplomats' from the French embassy. These two DGSE men met Ryan, introduced themselves and asked him to become their informer, to work for them. Martin refuses: "I'm not interested, I already have a job." These men reply to him: "You have no choice. Accidents happen quickly, think of your father or mother. Some people commit suicide. We can ruin your company because we can stop your goods coming from France at the customs and we can make you a tramp in Baku'. But Martin refuses. But the pressure on him grows. In the end, he gave in," says Nikolyan.

    How might Ryan help French intelligence? The fact is that Martin Ryan distributed food, the basis for making sauces, to all the restaurants in Baku. All the embassies are in the capital. The Iranian restaurant is frequented by diplomats and the Iranian community. The American restaurant is frequented by American embassy staff. Martin's informants are restaurant owners who are his customers.

    "For example, so-and-so came in, some words were said at the table from the waiter's words, maybe there were microphones hidden under the tables..... A few months later, the Azerbaijani security services caught up with Martin. Ryan came under the surveillance of Azerbaijan's special services and was arrested. He has been in pre-trial detention since December 4.

    He is being held on charges of espionage and faces a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison. I am outraged that our government is doing nothing. I hope that our new Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, will move in this direction. Before resigning as Foreign Minister, Catherine Colonna simply asked Azerbaijan to release a French citizen, although it was she who, through her ministry and her embassy, lured this man into this trap! The French state is responsible for this situation. The French citizen was intimidated and his family was put under pressure. He wanted to get married and ended up in prison. He was forced to do something, they put a gun to his head. He didn't do it out of conviction.

    If you are a French businessman in a foreign land, running your business without bothering anyone, what will you do if the French security services threaten you? I would go to the Azerbaijani security services and say: 'There are people who are harassing me'. I have already been threatened. I have ongoing lawsuits, especially with Ann Hidalgo. Now, after 52 police arrests, and several attempted murders, everything that doesn't kill me makes me stronger. Ryan is young, he has his whole life ahead of him, his family, and when he is told that all his goods will be blocked in France and he will become a vagrant, the world crumbles beneath his feet. Was he right to give in to pressure from the French security services? We need a national mobilisation. The Azerbaijani president's decision to pardon Martin is the only way to secure his release," Nikolyan concluded.

    Caliber.Az

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