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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Head of Taser distributor in France arrested

October 15, 2008
Andrew Johnson, Arizona Republic

French police arrested the head of a company that distributes stun guns in France for Scottsdale-based Taser International Inc. on Tuesday, according to foreign news reports.

Authorities detained Antoine Di Zazzo and nine other people, including police officers and private detectives, on suspicion that they spied on Olivier Besancenot, a former presidential candidate in France who publicly questioned the safety of Taser's devices, reports stated.

Di Zazzo runs SMP Technologies, which has had an agreement with Taser since 2005 to exclusively distribute the company's stun guns to law-enforcement agencies in France.

Some news reports referred to Di Zazzo's company as "Taser France." But Taser spokesman Steve Tuttle said Di Zazzo is not a Taser employee, and Taser does not own or operate SMP.

"Antoine is purely a distributor in France," Tuttle said.

"He is not an employee in any way, shape or form."

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