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Man charged with double murder of French students

Latest update : 2008-07-09

British police charged a 33-year-old man on Wednesday for the murders of two French students. The victims were found stabbed to death in a burning flat in southeast London at the end of June.

A 33-year-old man was charged Wednesday with the murders of two French students who were found stabbed to death in a burning flat in southeast London, police said.
   
Nigel Farmer, 33, of no fixed address, is accused of killing Gabriel Ferez and Laurent Bonomo, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement. Their bodies were found in the ground-floor flat in the New Cross area on June 29.
   
Farmer was also charged with arson and attempting to pervert the course of justice and will appear in court in Greenwich, also southeast London, on Thursday, they added.
   
The students, both 23 and on an exchange from their university in Clermont-Ferrand, central France, had been bound, repeatedly stabbed in the head, neck, torso and back and set alight.
   
The two biochemists were studying at London's prestigious Imperial College and had been due to return home at the end of this month.
   
The students' deaths shocked hardened detectives and coincided with growing concerns about knife and gang culture in the British capital.
   
Bonomo was stabbed nearly 200 times -- up to 80 of the wounds after he was dead -- while Ferez suffered nearly 50 knife wounds.
   
Six days before they were found, Bonomo disturbed an intruder stealing a laptop computer from the flat, which is still being searched by forensic investigators.
   
Experts found no evidence of forced entry after the killings. Two handheld games consoles were also taken and credit cards are missing.
   
A coroner's inquest into both men's deaths was opened and adjourned for 28 days pending police inquiries, a spokeswoman for Southwark Coroner's Court said Tuesday.
   
Inquests are held in England and Wales in the event of a violent, sudden or unexplained death. Police investigations and any subsequent legal action take  precedence.

Date created : 2008-07-09

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