French courts consider Spanish call for murder suspects

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The French courts will rule on Friday whether to hand over to Spanish authorities two young men suspected of murdering a British teenager at a Costa Brava holiday resort.

The 15-year-old was stabbed during a brawl outside a nightclub in the coastal town of Lloret de Mar last month.

Two men aged 21 wanted for his murder were later arrested at their homes in France.

At a court hearing in Lyon on Tuesday, prosecutors called for the builder and mechanic to be handed over to Spain.

Marie-Gabrielle Ratel said the international arrest warrants issued by Madrid offered every "legal guarantee".

The stab victim, referred to only as Andrew, had been living with his parents in Spain for several years when he was stabbed during a brawl between drunken youths leaving a nightclub overnight on July 17.

The Frenchmen returned home the next day but were arrested a week later at their homes in the Isere region in the southeast and the northern Eure area.

They admitted having taken part in the fight but said they did not know the victim had died.

The builder, who is suspected of landing the fatal blow, told the hearing that he did not want to go to Spain.

His friend told the court he did not want to be mixed up in a murder case. "I didn't know that he was dead," he said.

If the arrest warrants are authorised the men may still appeal to the Cour de Cassation, France's highest court of appeal.

© 2011 AFP

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