Swiss court jails lover in French banker murder



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 latex clad 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 high society figure Edouard Stern, a golden boy of the French financial world.



Swiss court jails lover in French banker murder
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 had taken account of the "profound regret" expressed by Brossard during the high-profile trial, which exposed the lurid nature of the couple's mutually manipulative and ambiguous relationship.
She had pleaded guilty to killing Stern, whose circle of friends included President Nicolas Sarkozy, during one of their passionate encounters at his flat on February 28, 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. The week-long trial seized the headlines in Switzerland and in France thanks to its heady cocktail of sex, power and money.
Geneva's chief prosecutor, Daniel Zappelli, had pleaded for an 11 year jail term earlier Thursday.
But Brossard's defence team had sought a "compassionate sentence" that would have allowed her to leave prison swiftly after four years already spent behind bars.
While underlining that her crime was "particularly cowardly", the jury acknowledged the "tumultuous" nature of the relationship and Stern's "humiliating, harrassing and occasionally cruel" behaviour.
Yet, only the day before, the same jury had 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", cynically motivated by greed and the prospect of a one million dollar payment he had made to her but later froze.
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Thursday, June 18th 2009
AFP
           


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