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Four sentenced to hard labour for life over Madagascar mob lynching

One of the accused hiding his face (C) is rushed out by a security marshall on October 8, 2015 in Antananarivo, Madagascar, during the trial of 37 people accused of the murder of three men in 2013.

A Madagascar court handed four men the maximum sentence Friday of hard labour for life over the mob lynching in 2013 of two Europeans and a local man, who were beaten and then burned on a beach.

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The sentencing came as the court tried 37 people over the October 2013 murders, which were committed by a mob acting on false rumours of foreign involvement in the death of an eight-year-old local boy and a paedophilia connection.

Among them, 25 suspects were given the benefit of the doubt and released, while another was formally acquitted.

One was sentenced to seven years of hard labour, while the rest were handed prison sentences ranging from three months to six years.

On the morning of October 3, 2013, French tourist Sebastien Judalet and Franco-Italian resident Roberto Gianfalla were attacked by a mob who brutally killed them.

Hours later, the uncle of the eight-year-old boy whose death sparked the attack on Nosy Be -- the idyllic Indian Ocean island off Madagascar -- was also murdered.

(AFP)

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