Murder suspect's extradition to France approved

3rd March 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 3, 2006 (AFP) - Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo has approved the extradition to France of a gang leader wanted for the kidnap and murder of a young Jewish man, Foreign Minister Mamadou Kone said Friday.

PARIS, March 3, 2006 (AFP) - Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo has approved the extradition to France of a gang leader wanted for the kidnap and murder of a young Jewish man, Foreign Minister Mamadou Kone said Friday.

It clears the way for Youssouf Fofana, 25, to be flown back Saturday. The French defence ministry said a military plane was due to leave Friday for the Ivorian capital Abidjan with three police officers to escort him.

Gbagbo signed the extradition order for Fofana late Thursday after a court in Abidjan approved the request by French authorities.

"We want him to leave as soon as possible," Kone told AFP.

Fofana is thought to have fled France shortly after Jewish cellphone vendor Ilan Halimi was found dying outside Paris on February 13.

The 23-year-old victim was found naked, bound and gagged in the southern suburb of Sainte-Genevieve-des-Bois where he had managed to crawl after being dumped nearby.

After being lured into a sex trap, he had been held captive for three weeks by a gang who sent ransom demands to his family, police said.

Fofana, who is originally from Ivory Coast but has French nationality, was arrested in Abidjan several days after Halimi was found.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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