Six to be charged in French tourist murders

15th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Six suspects will be charged over the July murders of two French women traveling in northern Argentina, officials said Friday.

Among those being indicted, "three will be charged as perpetrators while the three others will get conspiracy charges for helping conceal evidence," local prosecution spokesman Marcelo Baez told AFP.

Gustavo Lasi, Santos Vera and Daniel Vilte have been arrested as primary suspects in the case. The other three are not currently behind bars and Baez declined to identify them.

Argentine Judge Martin Perez is due to unseal the indictment on Monday, before traveling to France to meet with the victims' families, Baez said. He will be accompanied by fingerprint expert Daniel Corach, who headed DNA tests that led to the arrest of two of the suspects.

The bodies of vacationing students Cassandre Bouvier, 29, and Houria Moumni, 24, were found in late July at the Quebrada de San Lorenzo nature preserve overlooking Salta. Investigators said there was evidence the women had been beaten and sexually assaulted before they were shot to death.

The double murder has shocked France and residents of nearby Salta, an otherwise quiet city of 650,000 that depends heavily on tourism.

Psychiatric experts have branded Lasi and Vilte as "psychopaths," adding Lasi was "cold and manipulating," while Vilte may have been influenced by "alcoholic tendencies" in his family and an addiction to cheap cocaine-based drugs.

© 2011 AFP

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