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CRIME

Toulouse toddler shooting ‘no accident’

The shooting of a four-year-old child in Toulouse in southern France on Monday was not an accident, according to the prosecutor.

"We favour an hypothesis that is not an accident," prosecutor Michel Valet told reporters on Monday, according to a report in the local La Depeche du Midi newspaper. 
 
The partner of the girl's mother is now in custody on suspicion of murder.
 
He is suspected of having killed the girl by firing a bullet through a bathroom door where the mother, her daughter and two sons aged 6 and 2 were trying to hide from him.
 
The suspect has been held in custody since Monday night as police await testimony from the mother, who is currently hospitalised in a state of shock.
 
According to the newspaper the man is reported to have flown into a rage following an argument related to the cleanliness of the apartment.
 
The police were called to the apartment in the Empalot area of Toulouse at around 5.15pm on Monday and arrived to find the girl, named as Shaloma C, bleeding profusely from a head wound.
 
Despite the efforts of the emergency services, the toddler's life could not be saved and she died in the apartment.
 
The murder is the latest in a spate of child killings which have shocked France, according to the AFP news agency.
 
A 47-year-old man was found hanged on Tuesday in Tarbes in the Pyrenees after escaping from a clinic following his arrest on suspicion of murdering his five-month-old son.
 
The man had left a suicide note indicating that he had strangled the baby, whose body was found in a hotel room in the outskirts of Tarbes on Sunday.
 
A two-year-old toddler died last week in Lespinasse after being driven into a canal by the suicidal girlfriend of the baby's father.

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CRIME

French court orders partial release for convicted Corsican nationalist

A French court on Tuesday ordered the partial release of a Corsican nationalist who has served 24 years in jail for the 1998 murder of a top French official.

French court orders partial release for convicted Corsican nationalist

Under the ruling, Pierre Alessandri will be allowed out of jail to work for a landscaping company in the daytime and will be granted a full conditional release in a year if he behaves well.

The relaxation of Alessandri’s conditions of detention came amid tensions between the Mediterranean island’s pro-autonomy leaders and the French state, after a fellow Corsican detained in the same case was killed in a French prison in March.

Alessandri and a third Corsican detainee were transferred from mainland France to a jail in Corsica in April after the murder of Yvan Colonna.

The Paris appeals court granted Alessandri “a probationary partial release” of 12 months from February 13, the prosecutor-general Remy Heitz said.

If he behaves well, he would then be granted “conditional release” for another ten years, he said.

Alessandri’s lawyer Eric Barbolosi hailed the ruling as a “great relief”.

“For the first time in a court of appeals, the magistrates made a decision based on the criteria necessary for a conditional release, not the particular nature of the case,” he said.

Alessandri had served enough time to be eligible for such a release by 2017, and had already petitioned to be freed three times.

But national anti-terror prosecutors objected, and an appeals court barred his release.

The country’s highest court then quashed one of these decisions, ordering the Paris appeals court to re-examine it.

Colonna, a former goat herder, was announced dead on March 21 after an Islamist extremist who accused him of blasphemy strangled and suffocated him in a prison in the southern town of Arles in mainland France.

He was detained in 2003 after four years on the run, and sentenced in 2007, and then again in 2011, to life in jail over the killing in 1998 of the French government prefect of Corsica, Claude Erignac.

The killing was the most shocking of a series of attacks by pro-independence militant group FLNC.

Alessandri and another nationalist, Alain Ferrandi, had already been sentenced to life in jail in 2003 over the murder.

Ferrandi, who was transferred to the same Corsican jail, has also requested to be released on parole, and a decision is due on February 23rd.

Colonna’s murder sparked violent protests in Corsica.

It galvanised the nationalist movement and led President Emmanuel Macron’s government to offer talks about giving greater political autonomy to the territory.

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