France's longest-serving convict set free

4th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

LANDAS, France, Oct 3 (AFP) - A convicted child murderer who has spent more time behind bars than any other prisoner in France was free Monday after being released from prison overnight, and pledged to start working for the Red Cross.

LANDAS, France, Oct 3 (AFP) - A convicted child murderer who has spent more time behind bars than any other prisoner in France was free Monday after being released from prison overnight, and pledged to start working for the Red Cross.

Lucien Leger, 68, was driven out of a detention centre in the northern city of Douai in the van of a retired baker who has offered to lodge him.

"I'm doing very, very well. I feel great. I am completely intact physiologically and psychologically," he told journalists after his release.

"Now I'm going to work with the Red Cross," he said, pleading for the press to leave him alone.

Leger has spent 41 years in jail for the 1964 murder of an 11-year-old boy in Paris, making him the longest-serving prisoner in France.

He was freed after winning an appeal following 13 previous unsuccessful requests for parole and three ignored pleas for a presidential pardon.

He started serving time in 1966 and was eligible for parole from 1979 but failed to win over authorities until his lawyers took his case before the European Court of Human Rights in April this year alleging he had been sentenced to a "slow death" behind bars.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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