Frenchman faces 25 years for burning girl alive
CRETEIL, France, April 7, 2006 (AFP) - French prosecutors called Friday for a 25-year prison sentence for a young man accused of burning a 17-year-old woman to death in a Paris suburb.
Sohane Benziane, a Frenchwoman of Algerian origin, was doused with lighter fuel, set on fire and left to die in the basement of a run-down housing estate in Vitry-sur-Seine near Paris, in October 2002.
Jamal Derrar, 22, is accused of acts of torture and barbarity leading to death and faces 25 years’ imprisonment, while his co-defendant Tony Rocca, 23, faces eight to 10 years in jail.
State prosecutor Jean-Paul Content argued that Derrar had premeditated what he called “an act of boundless cruelty”, but had intended only to scare the young woman, not to kill her.
According to the prosecutor, Derrar had focused his anger on Sohane after getting into a fight with her boyfriend.
Sohane’s murder deeply shocked the country and her name became synonymous with the fight to improve women’s rights, particularly to combat violence against women of immigrant background in the country’s poor suburbs.
Subject: French news