French punk singer and bank robber Gilles Bertin dead: lawyer

Toulouse (France) (AFP) –


French punk singer Gilles Bertin, who was involved in an audacious 1988 bank robbery, died on Thursday in Barcelona aged 58, his lawyer said.

The one-time nihilist artist with a Bordeaux group called Camera Silens whose fans included anarchists and extreme left-wing youths, went on the run for nearly 30 years before turning himself in 2016.

"He died this morning after being hospitalised in Barcelona for several days," Christian Etelin told AFP.

Bertin drew comparisons with Sid Vicious, the singer of British punk group The Sex Pistols.

Bertin and others in his band contracted HIV after sharing contaminated heroin syringes.

Thinking they didn't have long to live but wanting to live up life, they stole 12 million francs (nearly 3 million euros at the time) from a Brinks deposit in the southern French city of Toulouse.

In 2018, Bertin got a suspended five year prison sentence for the robbery.