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Court overturns life sentence for alleged killer of Corsican prefect

High-profile Corsican nationalist Yvan Colonna (pictured) will face a third trial for the 1998 murder of prefect Claude Erignac after France's highest court overturned his previous life sentence over a minor procedural error.

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AP - France’s highest court has overturned the conviction of a shepherd accused in the 1998 murder of the governor of the French island of Corsica.

The decision means there will be a new trial for Yvan Colonna. The Court of Cassation made its decision Wednesday based on a procedural error at the appeals level.

Colonna was convicted of killing Claude Erignac, who was prefect, or governor, of the French island and its highest-ranking state representative. Colonna was sentenced to life in prison, both in his original trial and his appeal.

Colonna has always maintained his innocence. He acknowledged during the first trial that he was a nationalist, and prosecutors suspected political motives.

His lawyers say they will press for his release from prison.
 

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