Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Senegalese photographer's flashbacks to Africans throughout history

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Hollande photographed with Julie Gayet on Elysée Palace balcony

Read more

REVISITED

Is Beirut still haunted by ghosts of the civil war?

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Band Aid 30 - Hit or Miss? Bob Geldof in Hot Water over Ebola Single

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Deal or No Deal with Iran? Home Stretch to Reach Historic Agreement

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Football scandals: The ugly side of the beautiful game

Read more

#THE 51%

Ending violence against women: The dangers of trial by Twitter

Read more

#TECH 24

Tech giants under scrutiny: The problem with Uber

Read more

FOCUS

Inside an Iranian nuclear research reactor

Read more

Europe

French police baffled by twins' DNA in series of rapes

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-02-11

French police investigating a series of sexual assaults in the southern city of Marseille have arrested a set of identical twins because they don’t know which one may be to blame after linking their DNA to the crimes. Both men deny the allegations.

French police investigating a series of rapes in the southern city of Marseille are confounded after tracing DNA evidence to a set of twins but not knowing which one may be to blame.

With telling the difference between the twins' DNA extremely difficult and expensive, police have in the meantime charged both men, 24-year-olds identified only as Elwin and Yohan, and are holding them without bail.

"It's a rather rare case for the alleged perpetrators to be identical twins," chief investigator Emmanuel Kiehl said.

Police admit that without far more extensive tests it will be difficult to figure out which of the twins was possibly behind the attacks or whether both men were indeed involved.

The two, both unemployed delivery drivers, deny any involvement in the rapes of six women between between September and January.

Police tracked them down through video footage recorded on a bus and a mobile telephone allegedly taken from one of the victims and found in the brothers' possession.

The victims' mobile phones were taken in each of the attacks, which took place in the corridors of buildings and involved women aged 22 to 76.

Police said the victims were also able to identify the suspects, but not to tell them apart.

Kiehl said DNA evidence was found at some of the crime scenes but that regular tests were incapable of differentiating between the twins. The cost of extensive-enough tests would be "onerous" he said.

Local newspaper La Provence reported that police were told it could cost up to one million euros ($1.3 million) for the necessary tests.

It quoted a DNA expert saying that only the smallest of differences exist in the DNAs of identical twins.

"For a normal analysis we compare 400 base pairs," the expert said, adding that with twins: "We would be looking at billions."

(AFP)

Date created : 2013-02-10

COMMENT(S)