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CRIME

Police question woman over shooting of ex-Argentina rugby international in Paris

A woman suspected of taking part in the killing of former Argentina rugby international Federico Aramburu in Paris was being questioned by police on Monday after being arrested late Saturday, sources close to the inquiry said.

Police question woman over shooting of ex-Argentina rugby international in Paris
Federico Martin Aramburu playing for Argentina in 2007. Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP

The attack occurred in the chic Saint-Germain district on the Left Bank of the French capital where Aramburu and some friends were having burgers and about to call it a night at around 6am on Saturday.

They got into a heated argument with another group of patrons at a café before being separated by bouncers, but the other group later returned in a car and fired several shots, one police source said.

The 24-year-old woman is suspected of driving the vehicle for two other men who opened fire, the source said.

Police are still searching for the other two suspects, another source close to the inquiry told AFP, one of whom is known for being a far-right activist.

Aramburu, 42, was a back who won 22 Argentina caps and played in the 2007 World Cup in France, scoring a try as the Pumas beat the hosts in the third-place playoff.

He played club rugby in France for Biarritz, Perpignan and Dax from 2004 to 2010, winning the Top 14 twice with Biarritz and later sitting on the club’s board of directors.

Since his retirement from sport, he had lived in Biarritz and worked for a tourism company.

“This heinous crime and his death have left his family and friends and beyond all, the world of rugby, stunned and in unspeakable pain,” a lawyer for Aramburu’s family, Yann Le Bras, said in a statement on Sunday.

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CRIME

French court convicts 8 for stealing Banksy from Paris terror attack site

A French court on Thursday convicted eight men for the theft and handling of a Banksy painting paying homage to the victims of the 2015 attack on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris.

French court convicts 8 for stealing Banksy from Paris terror attack site

Three men in their 30s who admitted to the 2019 theft were given prison sentences, one of four years and two of three, although they will be able to serve them wearing electronic tracking bracelets rather than behind bars.

Another man, a 41-year-old millionaire lottery winner and street art fan accused of being the mastermind of the heist, was given three years in jail for handling stolen goods after judges found the main allegation unproven. His sentence will also be served with a bracelet.

Elsewhere in the capital, the defence was making its final arguments in the trial of the surviving suspects in the 2015 Paris attacks themselves, with a verdict expected on June 29.

‘Acted like vultures’ 

British street artist Banksy painted his “sad girl” stencil on the metal door of the Bataclan in memory of the 90 people killed there on November 13th, 2015.

A white van with concealed number-plates was seen stopping on January 26, 2019 in an alleyway running alongside the central Paris music venue.

Many concertgoers fled via the same alley when the Bataclan became the focal point of France’s worst ever attacks since World War II, as Islamic State group jihadists killed 130 people at a string of sites across the capital.

On the morning of the theft, three masked men climbed out of the van, cut the hinges with angle grinders powered by a generator and left within 10 minutes, in what an investigating judge called a “meticulously prepared” heist.

Prosecutor Valerie Cadignan told the court earlier this month that the perpetrators had not sought to debase the memory of the attack victims, but “being aware of the priceless value of the door were looking to make a profit”.

She said the thieves “acted like vultures, like people who steal objects without any respect for what they might represent”.

During the trial, Bataclan staff said the theft sparked “deep indignation”, adding that the painted door was a “symbol of remembrance that belongs to everyone, locals, Parisians, citizens of the world”.

Investigators pieced together the door’s route across France and into Italy, where it was found in June 2020 on a farm in Sant’Omero, near the Adriatic coast.

Three men involved in transporting the door were each jailed for 10 months, while a 58-year-old Italian man who owns a hotel where it was temporarily stored received a six-month suspended sentence.

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