• France's news in English

Ageing playboy convicted of heiress murder

AFP · 12 Apr 2014, 08:18

Published: 12 Apr 2014 08:18 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Maurice Agnelet, 76, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in his third trial for the killing of his then mistress, Agnes Le Roux. She disappeared in October 1977, aged 29, although her body has never been found.

Agnelet was initially acquitted of the murder but convicted on appeal in 2007 to serve 20 years -- a verdict that was later overturned by the European Court of Human Rights.

Agnelet's retrial in Rennes has seen a number of shocking new revelations, including testimony from Agnelet's own son that he believes his father committed the crime.

Guillaume Agnelet, 45, told the court on Monday that his mother had confided to him that his father had killed Le Roux in her sleep during a camping trip in Italy and then dumped the body by the side of the road.

He said his father had also confessed in the 1980s to knowing the location of the corpse.

Italian police launched their own probe after the accusation.

Agnelet's ex-wife and the mother of Guillaume, Annie Litas, rejected the accusations during her own tearful testimony, accusing her son of suffering from psychological problems.

Agnelet has always denied murdering Le Roux, the heiress to the Palais de la Méditerranée casino in Nice.

She disappeared months after becoming embroiled in a hostile takeover bid of her mother's casino.

Agnelet had seduced Le Roux and persuaded her to vote against her mother at a board meeting in June 1977 and to allow the casino to be sold to a rival owner.

Story continues below…

Money from the transaction -- three million francs, worth the equivalent of about €1.7 million ($2.3 million) in today's money -- first went into a joint account in the couple's name and later ended up solely in Agnelet's hands.

Agnelet was initially the prime suspect in the case but produced an alibi when another mistress claimed he was with her in Switzerland at the time.

The woman, Francoise Lausseure, later admitted she had lied and the case was reopened.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available