Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • US aid drops begin in besieged Iraqi town of Amerli

    Read more

  • Filipino UN troops escape Islamists in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Algerian diplomats held by Islamists are freed in Mali

    Read more

  • EU mulls Russia sanctions as Kiev warns of 'full-scale war'

    Read more

  • Pakistani protesters clash with police outside PM's house

    Read more

  • UK boy with brain tumour found in Spain, parents held

    Read more

  • Poland's Tusk, Italy's Mogherini set for top EU jobs

    Read more

  • Austerity row overshadows French Socialists' annual rally

    Read more

  • Egypt sentences Brotherhood leader Badie to life

    Read more

  • Ceasfire allows Gaza families to relax on the beach

    Read more

  • South Africa condemns 'military coup' in Lesotho

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

France

French hostage killed in Mali was 'shot in the head'

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-07-18

French geologist Philippe Verdon, who was kidnapped in the central Malian town of Hombori in November 2011 and found dead several weeks ago, was executed by a "shot in the head", Paris prosecutors said Thursday.

French hostage Philippe Verdon, who was kidnapped by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in Mali in 2011 and found dead several weeks ago, was executed with a shot to the head, prosecutors said Thursday.

“After the return of the body to France, the autopsy... was able to establish that Philippe Verdon was murdered by being shot in the head,” the Paris prosecutors’ office said.

The body of Verdon, who suffered from an ulcer and tachycardia, an abnormally fast heartbeat, was flown back to Paris on Wednesday.

The possibility had previously been raised that he had died from his ailments and that his killing had been staged.

The 53-year-old was taken from a hotel in northeastern Mali in November 2011, together with Serge Lazarevic, another French national.

The pair were on a business trip for a cement project, according to relatives, who have denied that they had any ties with secret service or mercenaries.

Verdon’s captors announced in March they had killed him in revenge for France’s military intervention in the country.

But Paris had never confirmed this until his body was discovered in the country’s north and identified this month.

Pascal Lupart, head of a support committee for Verdon, said the confirmation that he had been executed only added to his family’s pain.

“This murder, which adds to the pain of a family already in mourning,” shows that “these dogs are able to carry out their threats and to carry out a cold-blooded killing,” he said.

Lupart said he believed Verdon “was certainly executed because he was weak.”
French forces intervened in Mali in January to help the weak Malian military drive out Islamist rebels who had seized control of the country’s north, angering extremists.

At least seven French citizens remain captive in Africa, with another two in Syria.

(AFP)

Date created : 2013-07-18

  • MALI - FRANCE

    France identifies body of geologist abducted in Mali

    Read more

  • MALI - FRANCE

    Body of French hostage 'found in northern Mali'

    Read more

COMMENT(S)