Employee denies Renault espionage

A SENIOR employee at Renault denied any involvement in industrial espionage after allegations that three executives leaked green car technology secrets.

A French government source said last week a possible Chinese connection was being explored but had not been substantiated, after Renault suspended three executives suspected of leaking information on its electric vehicle programme.

“Renault is bringing very serious accusations against me, which I deny totally,” said Michel Balthazard, one of the suspended employees.

Earlier China also denied any link to the scandal at the French carmaker, dismissing reports of its possible involvement as “baseless”. “We have noticed the relevant reports,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said yesterday. “We think that some people saying that China is behind this case is totally baseless and irresponsible.”

French government spokesman Francois Baroin said France was not accusing any country of involvement.

“There is no official accusation by France and the French government toward any country today. An inquiry is under way,” Baroin said.

Renault declined to comment.