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Brossard pleads guilty to murder as trial begins

Video by Gulliver CRAGG

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-06-10

Cécile Brossard has pleaded guilty in the 2005 murder of her lover, millionaire French banker Edouard Stern (pictured), at the start of her trial in Geneva. The trial will be held behind closed doors at the request of the victim's children.

Cécile Brossard, charged in the 2005 murder of her lover, French banker Edouard Stern, pleaded guilty at the start of her trial on Wednesday.


"The defence will plead it was a crime of passion," Brossard's lawyer Alec Reymond told the courtroom.


The trial opened in Geneva behind closed doors. The first witnesses to be heard were the victim’s two children.


The request that the trial be closed to the public came from the children’s lawer, Marc Bonnant, who asked the court to “respect the suffering” of the victim’s family. Stern's son and daughter, Louis and Mathilde, were exposed to their father’s secret lifestyle when his body was found handcuffed and clad in a latex bodysuit.


The court’s president said he found the children’s request “surprising”, but he accepted it.


The trial is expected to shed light on the reasons that pushed Cécile Brossard, 40, to kill her millionaire lover during one of their sadomasochist sexual encounters.


Broassard, 40, has vowed to "explain the truth" during her trial.


"I would like to ask for forgiveness, but we cannot seek forgiveness for something so abominable," she told the court. "The only thing that I can do is to try and explain the truth."


Stern, who was 50 at the time of his death,  was shot in his Geneva apartment on Feb. 28, 2005. The 38th richest man in France, his friends included French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Laurent Fabius of the Socialist Party.

Date created : 2009-06-10