Police arrested an Indian businessman in connection with the murder of a French woman in a New Delhi guesthouse located in a rundown district popular with backpackers, an official said on Monday.

"/> Police arrested an Indian businessman in connection with the murder of a French woman in a New Delhi guesthouse located in a rundown district popular with backpackers, an official said on Monday.

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CRIME

Indian suspect arrested in French tourist murder

Police arrested an Indian businessman in connection with the murder of a French woman in a New Delhi guesthouse located in a rundown district popular with backpackers, an official said on Monday.

The body of the 34-year-old woman had been found in an advanced state of decomposition last week in Paharganj, a favourite haunt of budget travellers near the capital’s main train station.

Police official Devesh Chandra Srivastava told AFP the suspect had booked the guesthouse room in which the victim’s body had been discovered.

He was the owner of a handicrafts shop in the area and had apparently fled before being arrested by police Sunday in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir, Srivastava said.

“We have yet to interrogate him properly,” he added.

The victim has not been formally identified, but the Times of India quoted her sister as saying she was a schoolteacher who had arrived in India on March 19th.

The cause of death has also to be confirmed, although several media reports suggest she was strangled.

New Delhi is widely perceived as an unsafe city for women with official data showing that among the 35 biggest cities in the country, it has the largest numbers of crime cases against women.

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CRIME

French court convicts 8 for stealing Banksy from Paris terror attack site

A French court on Thursday convicted eight men for the theft and handling of a Banksy painting paying homage to the victims of the 2015 attack on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris.

French court convicts 8 for stealing Banksy from Paris terror attack site

Three men in their 30s who admitted to the 2019 theft were given prison sentences, one of four years and two of three, although they will be able to serve them wearing electronic tracking bracelets rather than behind bars.

Another man, a 41-year-old millionaire lottery winner and street art fan accused of being the mastermind of the heist, was given three years in jail for handling stolen goods after judges found the main allegation unproven. His sentence will also be served with a bracelet.

Elsewhere in the capital, the defence was making its final arguments in the trial of the surviving suspects in the 2015 Paris attacks themselves, with a verdict expected on June 29.

‘Acted like vultures’ 

British street artist Banksy painted his “sad girl” stencil on the metal door of the Bataclan in memory of the 90 people killed there on November 13th, 2015.

A white van with concealed number-plates was seen stopping on January 26, 2019 in an alleyway running alongside the central Paris music venue.

Many concertgoers fled via the same alley when the Bataclan became the focal point of France’s worst ever attacks since World War II, as Islamic State group jihadists killed 130 people at a string of sites across the capital.

On the morning of the theft, three masked men climbed out of the van, cut the hinges with angle grinders powered by a generator and left within 10 minutes, in what an investigating judge called a “meticulously prepared” heist.

Prosecutor Valerie Cadignan told the court earlier this month that the perpetrators had not sought to debase the memory of the attack victims, but “being aware of the priceless value of the door were looking to make a profit”.

She said the thieves “acted like vultures, like people who steal objects without any respect for what they might represent”.

During the trial, Bataclan staff said the theft sparked “deep indignation”, adding that the painted door was a “symbol of remembrance that belongs to everyone, locals, Parisians, citizens of the world”.

Investigators pieced together the door’s route across France and into Italy, where it was found in June 2020 on a farm in Sant’Omero, near the Adriatic coast.

Three men involved in transporting the door were each jailed for 10 months, while a 58-year-old Italian man who owns a hotel where it was temporarily stored received a six-month suspended sentence.

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