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CRIME

Paris bus driver flees on bus after fatal hit-and-run

A bus driver fled the scene in his vehicle after knocking over and killing a pedestrian in the Paris suburbs.

Paris bus driver flees on bus after fatal hit-and-run
Photo: AFP
The accident occurred late on Saturday night in Pantin, a suburb in the north east of Paris. 
 
CCTV footage showed that the victim wasn't watching where he was walking at the time he was knocked over, police sources told L'Express newspaper
 
The 45-year-old pedestrian was pronounced dead soon after. 
 
Instead of stopping the bus driver, whose vehicle had no passengers on board at the time, decided to speed off and cover his tracks. 
 
“We have a witness who says he saw the driver stop 200 hundred metres down the road, got out of his bus and returned to take a look at the victim, then drove off,” the police source told the paper. 
 
It's understood that the driver then took the bus back to the depot where he tried to wash the blood off the bus.
 
The paper reported that the driver returned to the scene of the hit-and-run later, where he was taken into police custody.
 
He now faces charges of manslaughter and for hit and run crimes.
 
A spokesperson for Paris transport chiefs RATP offered condolences to the family, promising to take “full responsibility” if found responsible for the man's death. 

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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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