French court throws out EDF guilty verdict in hacking case

A French appeals court on Wednesday threw out a 1.5 million euro ($2 million) fine against energy giant EDF, overturning a lower court's ruling that the company had been complicit in hacking the computers of Greenpeace in 2006.

EDF had appealed against the November 2011 decision by the Nanterre criminal court that a company it hired had hacked into confidential information on the computer of Yannick Jadot, then campaign director for the environmental group and now a Greens member of the European Parliament.

"EDF is completely satisfied by this decision," said EDF lawyer Alexis Gublin. "EDF was always a victim in this affair." A judicial investigation into questionable surveillance practices had found that the 84-percent state-owned EDF hired a consulting agency, Kargus, in 2004 to carry out "strategic surveillance" of anti-nuclear activists. EDF argued that Kargus had gone too far without its consent.