French police leave SKorea with babies' bodies

22nd February 2007, Comments 0 comments

SEOUL, Feb 22, 2007 (AFP) - French police investigating an infanticide case left South Korea Thursday with the bodies of two babies which had been found in a freezer, the embassy said.

SEOUL, Feb 22, 2007 (AFP) - French police investigating an infanticide case left South Korea Thursday with the bodies of two babies which had been found in a freezer, the embassy said.

Investigating magistrate Marie-Dominique Boulard-Paolini and three police officers had spent more than a week in the country as part of their inquiries.

The officers inspected the apartment at Seorae Village in southern Seoul where French national Veronique Courjault, 38, and her 41-year-old husband, Jean-Louis, lived.

Veronique Courjault has confessed to killing three babies to whom she gave birth between 1999 and 2003, including the two found in the freezer of the Seoul home.

She is in jail in France under criminal investigation for murder, the first stage before formal charges are brought.

The cases came to light when her husband found the bodies in the freezer last July and alerted police.

"The joint work was over as of yesterday," a South Korean investigator told AFP. "We handed over the bodies to the French investigation team."

After nearly three months of denying any knowledge of the babies found in Seoul, Veronique Courjault in October admitted killing them and an earlier infant, according to French police and her lawyer.

Her confession followed DNA tests by police from both countries, which showed the couple were the babies' parents.

Jean-Louis Courjault, who worked for the US car parts company Delphi in South Korea, says he knew nothing about the infants. He has also been placed under investigation in France but has not been detained.

French media reports citing investigators have said Veronique, who already has two sons aged 10 and 11, committed the crimes because she did not want more children.

In 1999, while still in France, she allegedly shielded her pregnancy from her husband and gave birth to a boy whom she suffocated and whose body she burnt in the fireplace of her family home.

In 2002 the Courjaults moved to South Korea. There, she allegedly confessed to secretly giving birth to a second boy whom she also suffocated.

The following year, according to her confession, she again gave birth. She suffocated the baby and put his body in the freezer next to his brother.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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