Lover killed French banker for money

17th June 2009, Comments 0 comments

A woman who shot dead a rich French banker allegedly killed her lover because he cancelled a million dollar transfer to her account.

Geneva – A woman who shot dead a rich French banker during a sado-masochistic sex session allegedly killed her lover because he cancelled a million dollar transfer to her account, a court heard Tuesday.

Prosecutors in Geneva alleged that Cecile Brossard, who admits killing Edouard Stern but denies murder, was driven to commit the crime by greed.

"Your crime is laid bare: it is the million, the hate, the vengeance, the domination," prosecution lawyer Marc Bonnant said.

He also described her as "incredibly duplicitous... lying, calculating, manipulating."

Brossard's defence lawyers claim the million dollars had nothing to do with the killing, and that she was like a hunted animal at the banker's mercy.

Stern, 50, one of France's wealthiest men whose circle of friends included President Nicolas Sarkozy, was shot in his Geneva penthouse on February 28, 2005. He was found wearing a latex suit, with two bullet holes in his head and another two in his torso.

Brossard, his 40-year-old lover, eventually confessed to the killing, but her defence maintains it was a crime of passion, and not murder as alleged by prosecutors.

Prosecutors repeatedly focused on the alleged motive for the crime on Tuesday -- one million dollars transferred by the banker to his lover's account, but which he later blocked after changing his mind.

"The million, it is the only thing, the million is at the centre of this... The million! The million! The million!" Bonnant said.

Daniel Zappelli, also representing Stern's family, added: "It is not love that killed, but hate and money."

Brossard faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of murder - but a maximum of 10 years if the jury is persuaded that it was a crime of passion.

Pascal Maurer, representing Brossard, claimed it was "absurd to lead this crime back to the million."

Brossard underwent a series of awful experiences at Stern's hands and this compelled her to kill him, the lawyer said.

"Edouard Stern is a hunter, he loves the chase... Cecile Brossard was good game, human game," Maurer said.

The defence alleges Stern provoked his lover by telling her, "A million dollars is a lot of money to pay for a whore."

But Bonnant earlier raised doubts about that claim. He said to Brossard that "it isn't the word 'whore', but the word 'million,' given and then wanted back, which ignited your hatred."

Brossard's defence team argues that Stern was an unscrupulous manipulator and sexual predator who pushed her into committing a crime of passion.

Brossard took the stand on Monday, insisting the two deeply loved each other and the killing was not premeditated.

Stern took over the venerable but then-flagging Banque Stern in 1976 and turned its fortunes around before selling it in 1985.

A verdict on the case was expected on Wednesday.

AFP / Expatica

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