Frenchman charged with murder of Swedish student
The man had allegedly posed as a taxi driver to entrap the 19-year-old student before killing her.28 April 2008
PARIS - A 51 year-old Frenchman was charged on Sunday with the murder of a 19 year-old Swedish woman found shot through the head and stabbed in a forest near Paris this month.
Bruno Cholet, who allegedly posed as a taxi driver to entrap his victim according to investigators, also faces charges of kidnapping, false imprisonment and theft.
If found guilty, he could face life imprisonment.
The victim, Swedish student Susanna Zetterberg, was found in Chantilly Forest north of Paris on April 19 with four bullets in her head. She was handcuffed, had been knifed in the chest, and her body was partly charred.
The arrest and charges followed a major police manhunt with extra officers drafted in by the Paris criminal investigation department.
Investigators said they had accumulated a mass of evidence against the suspect, including a pistol found in the boot of his car and bullets matching those used to kill the victim.
Court officials said Cholet, arrested last Friday, has a criminal record and had already spent 20 years in jail for various offences including rape and kidnapping.
The victim had gone missing on her way home from a Paris nightclub. After taking a taxi, she sent a text message to a friend saying the driver "doesn't look nice".
The suspect, who had allegedly posed as a taxi driver, was arrested in a western suburb of the capital, police said.
Police searching his vehicle had found a .22 pistol, cartridges, three pairs of handcuffs and a bag with the inscription "Susanna 777," the prosecutor's office said.
Police said closed circuit surveillance cameras had picked up a figure using the victim's credit card outside a bank, wearing clothes that matched those found in Cholet's flat.
A white car that looked like that of the suspect was also reported by witnesses near the nightclub where the victim was last seen alive.
After the discovery of the body, another woman reported to police being molested a week earlier by a man, apparently a taxi driver, driving a white car. Another witness claimed to have seen a similar vehicle in the forest where the body was found.
Cholet was set to appear before an examining magistrate on Sunday evening.
[AFP / Expatica]