Swiss court jails lover in banker murder

19th June 2009, Comments 0 comments

Cecile Brossard is sentenced to eight years and six months in jail for killing Edouard Stern.

Geneva -- A Swiss court on Thursday sentenced the lover of a prominent French banker to eight years and six months in jail for killing her partner during a sado-masochistic sex session in 2005.

The defendant, Cecile Brossard, had faced a jail term of up to 20 years after she was found guilty on Wednesday of murdering 50-year-old French financier Edouard Stern.

But defence lawyers said, after the high court in Geneva announced the sentence, that Brossard should be able to leave prison by the end of 2010.

The jury said in sentencing her that it considered the "profound regret" expressed by Brossard during the high-profile trial, which exposed details of the couple's manipulative and ambiguous relationship.

She pleaded guilty to killing Stern, whose friends included President Nicolas Sarkozy, during one of their passionate encounters at his flat on 28 February 2005.

Stern's corpse was found the day after he was killed, dressed in a full-body latex suit with two bullet holes in his head and another two in his torso.         

Geneva's chief prosecutor, Daniel Zappelli, pleaded for an 11-year jail term earlier Thursday.

But Brossard's defence team sought a "compassionate sentence" that would have allowed her to leave prison swiftly after four years already detained.

While saying her crime was "particularly cowardly", the jury acknowledged the "tumultuous" nature of the relationship and Stern's "humiliating, harassing and occasionally cruel" behaviour.

Yet, only the day before, the same jury denied Brossard the extenuating circumstances of a crime of passion.

Her defence argued she was driven by love and snapped under the pressure of the four-year relationship with Stern, whom they portrayed as a "narcissistic pervert" and deeply manipulative.

But attorneys for Stern's family countered that she was "venomous", motivated by greed and the prospect of a USD 1 million payment he made to her but later froze.

AFP / Expatica

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