Mistress 'confesses' to French banker murder

17th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

GENEVA, March 17 (AFP) - The woman suspected of murdering banker Edouard Stern, one of France's richest men, is a former fashion model who was his mistress for a number of years, the Swiss press reported Thursday.

GENEVA, March 17 (AFP) - The woman suspected of murdering banker Edouard Stern, one of France's richest men, is a former fashion model who was his mistress for a number of years, the Swiss press reported Thursday.

The suspect is "a 36-year-old blonde, a former model of French nationality, who lived in the canton of Vaud," according to the daily Tribune de Geneve.

Other press reports identified her only as "Cecile B".

Meanwhile Swiss Romande radio reported Thursday that the murder weapon had been found at the bottom of Lake Leman, based on information provided by the suspect.

The public radio station said the weapon was in a plastic bag containing several firearms. Officials said a ballistic analysis would determine which of the firearms was used to kill Stern.

The suspect's arrest was announced Wednesday and she is being held at the Champ-Dollon prison near Geneva.

The woman had already been questioned at length after the discovery of the murder on March 1 in Stern's Geneva home, the paper reported.

"She supervised the decoration of the apartment and had carried on a passionate relationship with the banker," the Tribune said.

The judge in charge of the case, Michel Graber, said Wednesday that the suspect had been arrested Tuesday at her home and had confessed to the murder, saying she had acted alone.

Graber's statement did not pinpoint a motive for the murder, saying it "might have been financial or personal". He said the suspect had a legal dispute with Stern, considered the 38th richest person in France.

Stern, 50, was shot with four bullets, two to the head, in the context of a sexual relation that was part of his private life, the judge's statement added.

Stern, who was the son-in-law of Michel David-Weill, chairman of French merchant bank Lazard, was separated from his wife, who lives in New York with their three children. He was buried last week at a Jewish cemetery in Veyrier near Geneva.

Stern was David-Weill's heir apparent before he left Lazard in 1997. Since then he had run his own investment fund, valued at some EUR 600 million (USD 800 million).

© AFP

Subject: French News

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