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CRIME

Lawyer’s slit throat rocks crime-infested Marseille

A murder investigation is under way after a lawyer was found with her throat slit in the heart of the crime-ridden city of Marseille.

Lawyer's slit throat rocks crime-infested Marseille
City of Marseille: a troubling wave of killings (Photo: phgaillard)

A colleague found Raymonde Talbot's body in her office on the Maport city's main business street on Friday, police said.

The third-floor office was locked and no murder weapon was found, they said.

"It's blood-chilling," a fellow lawyer said.

"We don't know the exact circumstances but the whole profession is concerned."

Marseille deputy mayor Caroline Pozmentier said the authorities were "revolted by this odious act which has rocked not only the legal profession but the entire city."

While little is known about the circumstances surrounding this murder, there has been growing concern in government circles at a wave of killings in Marseille.

So far this year, 18 people have been killed there in crimes linked to inter-gang rivalry, many of them gunned down in killings linked to the drugs trade.

On September 6th, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced beefed-up security with 250 extra police to tackle deadly gang violence in Marseille.

But a number of police officers have been also suspended as part of a corruption investigation in the city.

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CRIME

French tax agent ‘kidnapped and killed while conducting an audit’

A French tax inspector was kidnapped and killed, reportedly while carrying out a tax audit in a village in northern France on Monday evening.

French tax agent 'kidnapped and killed while conducting an audit'

The 43-year-old tax agent died on Monday night in northern France, with local media Actu Pas-de-Calais reporting that he was killed by the man whom he was auditing, who later died by suicide.

Emergency services were called to the small village of Bullecourt in the Pas-de-Calais département of northern France at around 8pm. Upon arriving they found two men dead and a woman, reported to be another employee of the tax office, tied up.

She was not believed to be seriously injured but was treated for shock. 

The public prosecutor released a statement saying that both tax agents “were carrying out an at-home audit to check the accounts” of the local man reported to be a brocanteur (antique dealer), who then “kidnapped them and tied them up.” 

“The accused then killed himself with a firearm,” according to the prosecutor’s office. 

The mayor of Bullecourt, a small village of 250 inhabitants, told AFP that he remembered the accused antique dealer as a “helpful” and “ordinary person” who had “integrated into the village.”

Gabriel Attal, the Public Accounts Minister, issued a statement on Monday evening expressing his condolences and saying that the tax agent “was simply doing his job” and that “today, he did not return.” The minister lamented that the agent was “killed while completing a tax audit.”

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