Slain French couple’s kin to appeal Bolivia ruling

The families of a French couple who disappeared in Bolivia are to appeal the acquittal of three alleged accomplices to the man jailed for 30 years for his murder.

Slain French couple's kin to appeal Bolivia ruling
Parents of the missing Fannie Blancho. Photo: Aizar Raldes/AFP

Tourists Jeremie Bellanger, 25, and Fannie Blancho, 23, went missing in August 2010 while traveling in a village in northern Bolivia, part of a months-long dream holiday in South America.

The couple's bodies have never been found.

Their parents were present on Thursday when a Bolivian court sentenced Jaime Martinez to 30 years in jail without the possibility of parole for the murders.

Martinez, 31, the son of a wealthy dairy farmer, was convicted of being the ringleader of a group of four that killed the couple after sexually assaulting the woman.

The other three accused, who include Martinez's father, were acquitted by the court in the northern city of Trinidad.

Patrick Bellanger, the father of Jeremie, told AFP by telephone from Trinidad that he was satisfied with the Martinez verdict, but added: "We are not happy with the decision for the other accused and intend to appeal."

Bellanger, who along with other family members fought for more than three years to see justice done, said: "It has been a real nightmare. It was very hard, especially for my wife, my sister and me too.

"It is important to see the culprits punished."

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French police shoot dead knife-wielding man at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

French Border police at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris shot - and killed - man who was wielding a knife in the public area of the airport on Wednesday.

French police shoot dead knife-wielding man at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

Border police reportedly shot a man with aggressive behaviour who brandished a knife in the public area of the Charles de Gaulle airport outside of Paris, on Wednesday morning, police and airport sources told AFP.

“This morning officers neutralised a threatening individual in possession of a knife at the Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport,” the Paris police department said on its Twitter account.

A source close to the investigation told BFMTV that the man – who was likely homeless – went towards the officers, despite being asked several times to put the knife down. In response, police shot the man in the abdomen, and the individual later died.

The incident took place in the busy, public area of terminal 2F around 8:20 am, when “a homeless man started bothering security agents and border police were called in to remove him”.

Initially the man left while yelling curses but he soon returned and brought out a knife, when one of the officers fired his weapon.

An AFP photographer who witnessed the scene said “a large person of colour brandished something that looked like a knife at the police”.

“He was ordered to stop but kept advancing toward them, and an officer fired a single shot.”

The man was quickly put on a stretcher and evacuated, the photographer said. 

Security forces have been on high alert for terrorist attacks since a wave of jihadist killings that have killed more than 250 people since 2015, often by so-called “lone wolves” who often target police.