الخميس , أغسطس 5 2021

Consul 'admits Monaco murder role'

Police outside the hospital where Helene Pastor and her driver were shot in the French city of Nice, 6 MayPolice outside the hospital where Helene Pastor and her driver were shot on 6 May

Poland’s honorary consul in Monaco has admitted a role in the murder of heiress Helene Pastor, his mother-in-law, French prosecutors say.

Wojciech Janowski, 64, “recognised his involvement” in the killing while in detention this week in France, Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said.

Ms Pastor, from one of Monaco’s richest families, was shot along with her driver as she left hospital in Nice.

Mr Janowski’s wife Sylvia was also detained but released without charge.

Ten other suspects from among a total of 23 detained in the French cities of Nice, Marseille and Rennes were also subsequently freed.

Both Ms Pastor and her chauffeur Mohammed Darwich, 64, were mortally wounded when a man with a sawn-off shotgun ambushed their car on 6 May as it was leaving the hospital where she had been visiting a son.

Convicts

The prosecutor announced earlier that Mr Janowski’s bank account had seen suspicious financial flows which needed explanation.

There were also apparent links with two intermediaries who had been in direct contact with two suspects in the shooting.

The two men were traced after police studied DNA evidence and CCTV footage from the area on 6 May, he said. The pair were described as aged 24 and 31, originally from the Comoros islands, and having a string of criminal convictions.

Video from railway stations and elsewhere showed that the two men had taken a train from Marseille to Nice on the afternoon of the shooting, gone to a hotel, and then made their way to the scene of the shooting, he said.

French media had earlier reported they had spent 500 euros (£400; $680) on a taxi back to Marseille afterwards.

Sylvia, the dead woman’s eldest daughter, was released on Wednesday night.

Mrs Pastor’s father, Gildo, became one of Monaco’s wealthiest men when Prince Rainier gave him permission in 1966 to build high-rise buildings along the sea front, AFP news agency reports. Prince Albert II attended her funeral.

Her income was derived from owning several prestige properties and Helene Pastor rarely left her luxury home in Monaco.

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