French soldier charged over Chad killings

18th April 2009, Comments 0 comments

A French Foreign Legion soldier accused of killing four people, including two colleagues, in Chad was Friday charged with murder, his lawyer Eric Morain said.

PARIS - A French Foreign Legion soldier accused of killing four people, including two colleagues, in Chad was Friday charged with murder, his lawyer Eric Morain said. The 27-year-old Frenchman of Brazilian origin was charged with the murder of his two fellow legionnaires, including his superior, and a Togolese UN soldier inside their military camp. He also killed a Chadian farmer for his horse.

Chadian authorities arrested the soldier on April 9 outside of the eastern town of Abeche, as he sought water after two days on the run in the semi-desert area.

Morain said his client spoke of harrassment, death threats and taunts by his peers "especially about his religious beliefs" which drove him to the act but stressed that he "really regrets the act and will cooperate."

The man's sister, in an interview with Brazil's Globo News, said the legionnaire was an "honest man" who helped his family. She said he complained of harrassment by his colleagues.

The 27-year-old private was attached to a European force which is handing over peacekeeping responsibilities to the UN contingent in the north-central African desert state.

An accord between Europe and Chad allows for soldiers from the force to be tried in their home countries.

AFP/Expatica

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