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Daughter of slain Monaco heiress arrested in murder probe

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French police investigating the shooting death of a 77-year-old Monaco real estate heiress have arrested some 20 people in connection with the probe, including the victim's daughter and her son-in-law, sources close to the inquiry said Monday.

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Helene Pastor, heiress to one of Monaco's richest families, died last month from multiple gunshot wounds to the abdomen, neck and face after she was shot leaving a hospital in the French Riviera city of Nice.

Her chauffeur, Mohammed Darwich, 64, also died from injuries sustained in the attack.

The attacker used a sawn-off shotgun and acted with an accomplice.

The arrests were made in Nice, the southern city of Marseille and Rennes in western France, according to several sources.

The Pastor family's lawyer made no immediate comment following the arrests.

Pastor's daughter, Sylvia Pastor, is married to Wojciech Janowski, the honourary consul of Poland in Monaco.

Pastor had inherited a huge real estate and construction business set up by her Italian grandfather Jean-Baptiste Pastor, a stone mason who came to Monaco in 1880. As the principality on the French Riviera developed into a playground for the world's rich and famous, the family's fortunes skyrocketed.

But the real jackpot came in 1966 when Prince Rainier, whose marriage to Hollywood actress Grace Kelly helped catapult Monaco to international fame, gave Helene Pastor's father Gildo permission to build high-rise buildings along the seafront.

Police had previously arrested a man who called the Pastor family several times after the shooting, claiming to know the identity of the mastermind and offering to divulge the information in exchange for cash. A court has ordered that he undergo psychiatric tests.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

 

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