The suspect for the rape and murder of a young woman in northern France almost two decades ago was under guard in hospital Saturday after he swallowed pesticide in an apparent suicide bid following his conviction.
Willy Bardon, on trial over the murder of Elodie Kulik in 2002 in a case that has attracted strong interest in France for years, ingested the substance at the courthouse in the northern city of Amiens late on Friday.
Bardon had been sentenced to 30 years jail for kidnapping and holding a person against their will followed by death. He was however acquitted of murder.
“The condition of Willy Bardon was stabilised by the doctors during the night,” Amiens prosecutor Alexandre de Bosschere told AFP.
He said indications given by his family and also an analysis showed that Bardon had swallowed a pesticide in the seconds after the verdict was announced at court in Amiens at the climax of a 13-day trial.
“We do not know how he managed to hide that,” said de Bosschere, adding that the defendant would have been searched before entering the court.
Bardon, 45, was placed under police guard at a hospital and an update on his condition was expected later in the day.
– ‘Suicide attempt’ –
Bank employee Elodie Kulik, 24, was kidnapped, raped, strangled and her corpse then burned in January 2002 in Tertry, 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Saint-Quentin in the Aisne region.
Before dying, she managed to call emergency services and the harrowing 26-second recording was the key piece of evidence in the trial.
Another suspect Gregory Wiart, whose DNA was found at the scene, died in 2003. But six witnesses told the court they recognised the voice of Willy Bardon on the tape.
DNA testing advances had allowed new evidence to be gathered years after the event, leading police to identify Wiart.
Throughout the trial, Bardon insisted he was innocent, even protesting to the parents of Kulik that he had not been at the scene.
“It is clear that Mr Bardon tried to kill himself. He had said repeatedly that he could not bear going back to prison,” his lawyer Stephane Daquo told AFP, adding that the defence would appeal a conviction that he claimed was based “on a simple impression”.
The victim’s father Jacky Kulik expressed relief at the verdict while regretting Bardon’s apparent suicide attempt.
“I can go to her grave tomorrow and say that I did my job,” Kulik said.
© 2019 AFP
Trump Jr ripped for ‘hypocrisy’ and ‘stupidity’ as group releases new #ByeDonJr ad
‘Odd Radio Circles’ perplex astronomers studying the newly discovered phenomenon
Astronomers believe they have discovered a new, bizarre type of cosmic object that is invisible to all wavelengths of light except radio.
The strange circular objects in question have been unofficially dubbed "Odd Radio Circles" (ORCs); three of them were discovered in a recent data accumulated during a preliminary survey by the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder, a radio telescope array in Western Australia. A fourth Odd Radio Circle was discovered when researchers sifted through old data from 2013.
Bill Barr quietly pulls off a shake-up in a federal prosecutor’s office — but why?
Attorney General Bill Barr’s attempt last month to push U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman out of his position at the Southern District of New York blew up in his face. While Berman was ousted, Barr didn’t get the replacement he wanted, and House Democrats are now investigating.
But last Friday night, Barr successfully pulled off a similar maneuver in the Eastern District of New York. Richard Donoghue no longer leads that office, as he has taken the position of principal associate deputy attorney general at Main Justice. Seth DuCharme, who had been principal associate deputy attorney general and worked under Barr, will now serve as the acting U.S. attorney for EDNY.