Briton on trial in France accused of murdering wife
16 October 2007, ALBI (AFP) - The trial of a 55-year-old British man accused of murdering his wife more than seven years ago opened Monday in southwestern France.
16 October 2007
ALBI (AFP) - The trial of a 55-year-old British man accused of murdering his wife more than seven years ago opened Monday in southwestern France.
Robert Lund has denied charges that he killed his wife Evelyn, whose body was found in her car in a lake near their home in the French village of Rayssac in 2002, two years after her disappearance.
Lund reported his wife as missing on January 1, 2000 and has told investigators he believes she had an accident after drinking heavily and visiting friends in the area.
"My wife was in the habit of drinking heavily, which made her violent. On the day she disappeared she had had a lot to drink before going to see her friends," Lund told the court.
Lund says he last saw his wife leave their home in her car three days before he reported her missing.
Friends said she had visited that day and left early in the evening. They said she was wearing different clothes to those found with her remains.
Despite a massive search of more than 225 lakes and waterways and inquiries in France and Britain, Evelyn's remains were not found until nearly two years after her disappearance.
Her corpse was discovered inside her car in Lake Bancalie, after a horse rider noticed the vehicle at a time of unusually low water levels. The lake is between the Lund family home and that of the friends she had visited.
The trial began at the Court of Assizes in Albi, the regional capital of Tarn, in the presence of the dead woman's three daughters who brought the case against Lund, as well as witnesses from Britain and relatives of the accused.
The court and jurors will visit the lake Tuesday to see the layout of the area.
Lund, who has always protested his innocence, has been behind bars since 2004 when prosecutors declared there was enough information to charge him.
The couple met in 1991 and married three years later. They then moved into a delapidated farmhouse in Tarn which they christened "Journey's End."
"Although I quickly adjusted to living in France, my wife had lots of problems because she was always thinking about her first husand and their children," Lund said.
Lund is a tree surgeon and was doing odd jobs around Tarn when his wife vanished.
The couple had made a will leaving their assets to the sole survivor. Two years later Evelyn made a will with an English lawyer leaving her belongings to her children.
Subject: French news