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CRIME

French woman accused of killing au-pair blames partner

A French woman accused with her boyfriend of killing their au-pair in London told a court Monday she was brutal towards the victim but pinned the murder on her partner.

French woman accused of killing au-pair blames partner
The parents of murdered French au-pair Sophie Lionnet leave the Old Bailey, London's Central Criminal Court, on March 19. Photo: Niklas Hallen/AFP
Sabrina Kouider, 35, and Ouissem Medouni, 40, both deny killing 21-year-old French nanny Sophie Lionnet, although he has admitted burning her body in  their garden in September last year.
   
She told the court Medouni interrogated the victim over their belief she was conspiring with one of Kouider's former boyfriends, Mark Walton, a former member of Irish band Boyzone.
   
Medouni — who is also French — became aggressive after Lionnet said she had drugged him and allowed Walton and an accomplice to beat and sexually abuse him, according to Kouider.
   
“He was really, really upset and grabbed Sophie in the face telling her 'why did you do this to me, how come you drugged me?'” she told jurors. 
   
Kouider said her partner had undressed and demanded Lionnet show him where on his body he had been touched. He then took a big saucepan with water in it and, with a wet towel on the  nanny's face, put her head inside the pan, she added. 
   
“I was shocked and scared”, the defendant said. “He told me not to get involved. I told him to stop and he refused.” 
 
Kouider said she went to lie down and when she returned Medouni was by Lionnet's body.  “He said that he did not mean to (kill her), that she was driving him crazy and that it was an accident”, she told the court. 
   
The 35-year-old, who has admitted pushing and beating the victim with an electrical cable, said she suggested burning the body but it was her partner who lit the fire. 
   
Firefighters discovered Medouni trying to burn the corpse in their garden on September 20. 
   
He has testified they both interrogated the au pair over her links with Walton, but said his partner carried on after he went to sleep.  The trail continues Tuesday, with the jury expected to retire on May 9.

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CRIME

Pensioner held over murder on French nudist beach

A 75-year-old man has been arrested in France over a murder on a well-known nudist beach outside the southeastern city of Lyon, prosecutors said.

Pensioner held over murder on French nudist beach

The victim, aged 46, was killed on Saturday at the La Mama beach on a lake in the Lyon suburb of Miribel, regional prosecutors said.

The 75-year-old is suspected of shooting the victim multiple times in the bushes nearby following a dispute that arose after the younger man allegedly exposed himself in front of a woman, they added.

The regional daily Le Progres said that the suspect is a member of a shooting club and legally possesses a calibre 22 rifle. The victim was known to the police, it said.

The Le Parisien daily added that according to its information the victim had been a cause of trouble on the beach all Saturday morning with tensions rising to a peak when he began to masturbate in front of a woman.

An altercation ensued at which point the septuagenarian reached for his gun.

Le Progres said that at the peak of the summer season the beach — well known to Lyon’s inhabitants — was operating as normal on Sunday.

Participants in the World Naked Bike Ride France arrived even as police carried out investigations and images showed naked bathers enjoying the hot weather.

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