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CRIME

Burundi court jails Frenchman 25 years for rape

A court in Burundi on Monday found a Frenchman guilty of raping five teenagers, giving him a 25-year jail sentence and a fine of €14,000 ($20,000).

Patrice Faye, 58, was accused of raping five girls aged 13 to 17 — students at a school he set up for poor children. He denied the charges.

Supreme Court spokesman Elie Ntungwanayo said Faye, a long-time resident, could appeal the sentence.

The trial had been held behind closed doors since June 16. Prosecutors had sought a 35-year prison term.

Faye was arrested in early April and was detained in a prison in central Bujumbura following accusations by the girls.

In a letter addressed to AFP in May, Faye said a doctor had confirmed that three of his accusers were still virgins.

“My client is very shocked. This is someone who has spent 35 years of his life in Burundi doing good things and he is being convicted because of young girls who want to extort money,” his lawyer Fabien Segatwa said.

“Patrice Faye did nothing. He still maintains his innocence,” said the lawyer, adding: “It is a death sentence given his age.”

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PARIS

Paris police rescue handbag robber from river Seine

Paris police on Tuesday fished a man out of the Seine river, which he jumped into after he rammed a car into a Valentino store and robbed dozens of luxury handbags.

Paris police rescue handbag robber from river Seine

The 24-year-old suspect smashed into the store around 2am on the high-end Rue Saint-Honoré, a police source said.

He grabbed as many as 30 luxury handbags and other items before attempting to flee in the car.

The man then failed to stop when a police patrol gave chase after spotting him near the central Paris Opéra.

He abandoned the car on Place de la Concorde at the end of the Champs-Elysées, the police source said, before plunging into the nearby river Seine.

But river police quickly fished him out and placed him under arrest.

A source familiar with the case said that the “entirety” of the stolen items had been found.

A second source told AFP that “around 30” handbags – which Valentino lists on its website at between €1,000 and €3,000 – were found in his car.

The suspect now faces an investigation for charges including aggravated robbery and refusal to comply with police, Paris prosecutors said.

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