In 1894, Alfred Dreyfus, a captain in the French army, was accused of espionage on flimsy evidence, found guilty and sentenced to deportation for life. Even when incontrovertible proof of his innocence came to light a retrial was resisted, provoking a major scandal. In protest, writer Emile Zola bravely wrote an open letter to the President of the Republic. Published in L'Aurore and headed "J'Accuse...!", he repeatedly used the words "J'accuse" ("I accuse") against all those culpable in the affair.