British lord's widow to stand trial for murder

18th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

NICE, France, April 17, 2007 (AFP) - The widow of a British lord whose decomposing body was found in the hills on the French Riviera in 2005 will stand trial next month accused of paying her brother for a contract killing, judicial sources said Tuesday.

NICE, France, April 17, 2007 (AFP) - The widow of a British lord whose decomposing body was found in the hills on the French Riviera in 2005 will stand trial next month accused of paying her brother for a contract killing, judicial sources said Tuesday.

Jamila M'Barek, 38, will appear before the court in Nice on March 22-25, accused of accessory to murder, alongside her brother, Mohammed M'Barek, 41, who is accused of murdering Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 10th Earl of Shaftesbury.

Prosecutors claim that M'Barek had feared an impending divorce would threaten her rich lifestyle as well as property inheritance rights and had therefore persuaded her elder brother Mohammed to strangle her husband.

Mohamed M'Barek -- who was extradited from Germany in 2005 -- initially denied involvement, but later told police he accidentally strangled the lord during an argument. Both are in custody in southern France.

The body of the 66-year-old Cooper was found in April 2005, five months after he vanished from his home in Cannes.

Educated at Eton and Oxford and a fluent French speaker, the lord inherited his title from his grandfather when he was 22 years old, along with the family seat at Wimborne, southwest England, and its 9,000-acre (3,600-hectare) estate.

He divided his time between Britain and the French Riviera where he led a colourful and largely nocturnal existence. At the time of his death he was known to be in a liaison with another young woman.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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