Wife ‘is key’ to Singapore French death mystery

24th June 2004, Comments 0 comments

SINGAPORE, June 24 (AFP) - Singapore's coroner has delivered an open verdict on the death of a Frenchman found with deep cuts to his arms last year, after authorities were unable to speak with the man's mentally ill wife, reports said Thursday.

SINGAPORE, June 24 (AFP) - Singapore's coroner has delivered an open verdict on the death of a Frenchman found with deep cuts to his arms last year, after authorities were unable to speak with the man's mentally ill wife, reports said Thursday.

Coroner Malcolm Tan said Air France regional finance manager Philippe Birembaut's Hungarian-born wife, Vera Eve Lix, was the "missing link" in the case but she was now in a Budapest psychiatric hospital and uncontactable, according to the Straits Times.

Lix, a dual Hungarian-French national, was the last person believed to have seen Birembaut alive but she flew out of the city-state 12 hours before his body was found in their Singapore apartment on June 18 last year.

Police found the body of Birembaut, 40, lying in his living room with a kitchen knife in his hand but no suicide note.

While Tan said the evidence so far suggested no signs of foul play, Lix may be able to explain how Birembaut died.

"Her absence provides a missing link," Tan said in delivering his verdict on Wednesday, according to the Straits Times.

"Was he so distraught and killed himself... was she involved in his death? We do not know the answer to these questions."

Tan said the couple was known to have had marital problems and Birembaut's body was only found after an Air France colleague alerted the police after he did not turn up for work.

The couple had reportedly had a disagreement during a flight from Jakarta to Singapore two days before his death, and Birembaut had gone to a local hospital after touching down to ask for help for his wife's depression.

Birembaut was responsible for overseeing the finances of Air France's operations in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Australia.

© AFP

 

Subject: French news

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