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CRIME

Thieves rob dead woman at French funeral home

Burglars yanked jewelry off a dead woman's fingers and from around her neck as her body lay in a French funeral home. As if it could get any worse, burglars then struck a second time.

Thieves rob dead woman at French funeral home
The dead woman was robbed of two rings and a necklace. Coffin photo: Shutterstock

The body of a woman in her eighties was robbed of two rings and a necklace at a funeral home in the south-eastern French town of Rives on May 7th, French radio station RTL reported on Monday.

Unbelievably, it was just the first of two crimes involving the deceased woman. After the first burglary her family transferred her body to another funeral home, where thieves once again tried to enter the building.

Her family was left outraged and wounded by the transgressions.

“It’s horrific,” the niece of the woman told RTL. “They stole her jewellery, that I had lovingly left with her. She had her wedding ring, two rings and a gold necklace.

“Never could I have imagined that such a thing could happen. If even after death you can’t be in peace.

“It’s a profanation. They touched her. They pulled [the rings] off her fingers. I want families to know that people go to steal from their dead [relatives]. I will do all I can to stop these bastards. People who do that are not even human beings.”

Quoted by Le Parisien, the niece added: “My aunt had an extremely difficult end. I thought that she would rest in peace. It’s unacceptable that people are capable of breaking into funeral homes. It’s not about the jewellery. I don’t care about that. I don’t care about money. All I care about is her honour and to find out who did this.”

Police are investigating the burglaries and have not said whether they believe the same thief or thieves was responsible for both funeral home break-ins.

Sadly, bad behavior in mortuaries isn't as uncommon as you'd think. Back in 2012 The Local reported on the trial of two medical examiners in the northern French town of Lens who were accused of mutilating and not sewing up the corpses at a morgue.

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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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