Frozen babies from French couple: DNA tests

10th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 10, 2006 (AFP) - French DNA tests have confirmed that a French couple are the parents of two babies whose frozen corpses were found at their home in South Korea, legal officials said Tuesday.

PARIS, Oct 10, 2006 (AFP) - French DNA tests have confirmed that a French couple are the parents of two babies whose frozen corpses were found at their home in South Korea, legal officials said Tuesday.

Businessman Jean-Louis Courjault and his wife Véronique are wanted for questioning and face possible charges of infanticide in South Korea, where initial DNA tests already showed them to be the infants' parents.

Courjault, 40, who worked for a United States car parts company in Seoul, reported finding the children's bodies in the freezer of his home in the southern village of Sorae on July 23, but the couple strongly contested the validity of the Korean tests.

However the fresh tests carried out in the past few weeks in France confirm the South Korean analyses, French legal officials told AFP.

The couple are currently in the region of Tours in western France — where the authorities have opened a preliminary inquiry into the case.

They have said they would not return to South Korea.

"We affirm that we are not the parents of the two babies," Jean-Louis Courjault told reporters on August 17, adding that he believed he and his wife were targeted by "a media lynching against us in Korea."

South Korean police have sought French cooperation in their investigation into the two dead babies.

One South Korean investigator said at the time his country's DNA tests were already conclusive. One of them was based on a tissue sample in storage at an obstetrics clinic where Veronique Courjault, 39, had a hysterectomy in December 2003.

French legal authorities have not given any immediate reaction as to what procedure might now ensue against the couple.

A preliminary inquiry into the matter was launched in early August by the state prosecutor's office in Tours, and the couple were questioned by police on August 10 but then released.

The grisly discovery of the babies bodies and the Courjaults' refusal to answer to South Korean authorities has sparked a stir in South Korea, with the media there giving the story wide play.

A summons for the couple has reportedly been sent to France through diplomatic channels.

France and South Korea have a cooperation agreement for crime investigations but no signed extradition treaty.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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