Top French cop trafficked drugs – claims

A French "Supercop" appeared before a police disciplinary council in Paris Tuesday on charges of associating with criminals and drug trafficking.

Michel Neyret, 56, was the deputy police chief of Lyon and hailed for cutting drug crime and jewellery heists until his spectacular arrest in September last year.

Neyret faces dismissal from the police force and could be stripped of his pension rights by the committee.

Criminal charges against him are still pending.

Neyret put up a brave front as he arrived for the hearing telling reporters: "I am relatively okay."

The charismatic policeman was detained for eight months before being released in May. He has since kept a low profile, living quietly in the east of France where he has to report regularly to a police station.

Neyret is accused of accepting gifts and favours from members of the Lyon underworld in a scandal that came to light during phone taps into a drug trafficking case that led to the seizure of 110 kilogrammes (242 pounds) of cocaine in 2010.

He has admitted being "imprudent" in accepting lavish gifts including a luxury five-day holiday in Morocco and a €30,000($38,000) watch but has denied making money.

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Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

A Frenchwoman and a Spaniard were killed and nine other mountaineers were injured on Friday in an ice fall in southwest Switzerland, police said following a rescue attempt involving several helicopters.

Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

Police received calls at 6.20 am reporting that mountaineers had been caught up in falling seracs — columns of glacial ice formed by crevasses — on the Grand Combin, a glacial massif near the Italian border in the Wallis region.

Seven helicopters with mountain rescue experts flew to the scene, finding 17 mountaineers split among several groups.

“Two people died at the scene of the accident,” Wallis police said in a statement. They were a 40-year-old Frenchwoman and a 65-year-old man from Spain.

Nine mountaineers were airlifted to hospitals in nearby Sion and in Lausanne. Two of them are seriously injured, police said.

Other mountaineers were evacuated by helicopter.

The regional public prosecutor has opened an investigation “to determine the circumstances of this event”, the police said.

The serac fall happened at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Plateau de Dejeuner section along the Voie du Gardien ascent route.

The Grand Combin massif has three summits above 4,000 metres, the highest of which is the Combin de Grafeneire at 4,314 metres.

The police issued a note of caution about setting off on such high-altitude expeditions.

“When the zero-degree-Celsius isotherm is around 4,000 metres above sea level, it is better to be extra careful or not attempt the route if in doubt,” Wallis police said.

“The golden rule is to find out beforehand from the mountain guides about the chosen route and its current feasibility.”