Mystery of English lord's murder not put to rest

10th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

MONACO, Aug 10 (AFP) - The body of an English lord suspected to have been murdered by the brother of his estranged wife was cremated in Monaco Wednesday in a ceremony attended only by the closest members of his family, police said.

MONACO, Aug 10 (AFP) - The body of an English lord suspected to have been murdered by the brother of his estranged wife was cremated in Monaco Wednesday in a ceremony attended only by the closest members of his family, police said.

The decomposing corpse of Anthony Ashley-Cooper, the 66-year-old Earl of Shaftesbury, was found in woodland on the French Riviera in April, five months after he went missing while visiting his spouse in the seaside resort town of Cannes.

French police suspect the wife, a 37-year-old Dutch-Tunisian former nightclub hostess who married the wealthy lord in 2002, and her Tunisian brother were involved in Ashley-Cooper's homicide.

Both are being detained while investigators probe an alleged confession from the woman, Djamila M'Barek, who said her brother got into a fatal argument with Ashley-Cooper in her Cannes apartment over his wishes for a divorce.

The brother, Mohammed M'Barek, 40, was extradited from Germany in May. He denies involvement in the lord's death.

The wife from Ashley-Cooper's previous marriage, Christina, and his son attended Wednesday's cremation among just a few relatives.

Educated at Eton and Oxford and a fluent French speaker, the lord inherited his title from his grandfather when he was 22 years old, along with the family seat at Wimborne, southwest England, and its 3,600-hectare (9,000-acre) estate. He divided his time between Britain and the French Riviera where he was known to frequent nightspots.

At the time of his death, he had been living apart from Djamila M'Barek -- who was his third wife -- and had been seeing another nightclub waitress. The British press put his fortune at seven million euros (8.6 million dollars).

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, murder, crime, Anthony Ashley-Cooper

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