Frenchman suspended over Wikileaks-style website

A graphic on the Wikileaks 13 website
Image caption The website was launched on 1 January

A French regional council has suspended a computer engineer after he leaked council business onto a Wikileaks-style website.

Bouches-du-Rhone council, based in the southern city of Marseille, took action after Philip Sion set up a site on 1 January called "Wikileaks 13".

He appealed to the public to send him evidence of malpractice in the region.

Mr Sion was accused of "disloyalty" for uploading audio of a council commission meeting in December.

The council said it was suspending him for having failed to respect his duty of loyalty as an employee, and a disciplinary hearing would be held at an unspecified date.

Council 'omerta'

Writing on his site, Mr Sion says he feels passionately about administrative abuses in Marseille, a city which could be "at the centre of the world" but where one in three people lives below the poverty level.

He suggests that the "duty of loyalty" expected of council staff amounts to "omerta", or a mafia-style vow of silence.

"Since I am not allowed to improve things from the inside, I have to do it from the outside," he writes, without elaborating.

Appealing to readers to report instances of corruption in public life, he says: "You have the power to clean up Marseille just by telling the truth."

The website appears to have been called Wikileaks 13 in honour of both the international whistle-blowing site created by Julian Assange and the region's French administrative code, which is 13.

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