Juan Remy Quinolot is also accused of conspiracy to possess illegal weapons, criminal associations, and damage to state security.
Authorities in the Central African Republic (APR) have charged a French national with espionage and conspiracy almost a month after his arrest.
Juan Remy Quinolot was arrested on May 10 after police said they found weapons, military patches and foreign banknotes at his residence in the capital, Bangui. Authorities accused him of aiding and abetting insurgents in the conflict-ridden country since 2013.
The car’s attorney general, Eric Didier Tambo, said Wednesday that Quignolot had been charged with espionage, illegal possession of hunting firearms, criminal conspiracies and damage to national security.
He did not give any reference to the country or organization for which Quignolot allegedly worked, but said any trial would take place within six months.
“In case of damage to internal security, you are talking about forced labor,” he said, referring to the possible punishment.
Quinolot, 55, has denied the allegations. The French Embassy in Bangui և did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The allegations came two days after France cut off aid and military assistance to CAR, which it said had failed the government to end “massive disinformation campaigns” targeting its officials. which France was competing for influence in the country.
The French government has previously provided 10 million euros ($ 12.18 million) in budget support to the Bangui authorities. It also maintains almost 300 servicemen at the MOT.
On the day of Quignolot’s arrest, photos circulated on social media show him with his hands tied behind his back, sitting on several steps in front of an arsenal of weapons, ammunition and military clothing.
Two days later, France condemned the arrest and the images as “clear manipulation.”
It said “disinformation networks” were being used to “promote well-known interests accustomed to targeting France’s presence and actions” in CAR.
Quinolot’s arrest was announced on Twitter by Valery Zak Akharov, a Russian who is a close adviser to KAR President Faustin-Argange Tuadera.
Russia has stepped up military assistance to CAR by sending hundreds of military instructors to arm and train government troops to prevent insurgent movements in the country.
The nation of 4.7 million gold-producing people has seen a spate of violence by armed groups since 2013, including the civil war that ended in 2016, as well as election-related fighting earlier this year.