In Paris yesterday a court sentenced energy giant EDF’s former security chief to three years in prison for spying.

Pascal Durieux, EDF’s former head of nuclear production security was given a three-year sentence for commissioning spying against the energy watchdog charity.

He was found guilty of ordering others to commit illegal actions which included hacking into a computer belonging to Greenpeace’s former campaigns head Yannick Jadot. EDF was fined a total of 1.5million Euros by the court.

EDF is the world’s biggest nuclear energy supplier and will be a major sponsor of the London Olympics in 2012. The company, which owns British Energy currently runs eight nuclear power stations in the UK and is planning to build four more.

Greenpeace UK’s executive director, John Sauven, said: “The evidence presented at the trial showed that the espionage undertaken by EDF in its efforts to discredit Greenpeace was both extensive and totally illegal.”

Greenpeace themselves will recieve €500,000 in damages from EDF.

EDF were unavailable for comment.

France has a large nuclear industry and it was french secret services who were behind the bombing of the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior 26 years ago which resulted in the death of a crew member.