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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 July, 2003, 21:55 GMT 22:55 UK
Coma actress arrives in France
Marie Trintignant's body is repatriated from Vilnius Airport to France
Marie Trintignant was airlifted back to France

The comatose French actress Marie Trintignant has arrived in France, after being airlifted from Vilnius in Lithuania.

The 41-year-old daughter of French film veteran Jean-Louis Trintignant was taken by ambulance to a Paris hospital after being flown back home aboard a private jet.

Earlier, a Lithuanian court extended the detention of her boyfriend, French rock star Bertrand Cantat, the prime suspect in an alleged beating that left her on the verge of death, until mid-August.

Mr Cantat, lead singer with one of France's most popular rock bands, Noir Desir, was staying with Ms Trintignant in a Vilnius hotel when she suffered severe head injuries.

The actress's son and her mother, Nadine Trintignant, who had been directing a film in Lithuania starring her daughter, accompanied her back to France.

The family was granted permission to repatriate her, although Lithuanian doctors opposed the transfer, saying the flight could kill her.

But the family said that if she was going to die, she should be taken back to France.

Plea for forgiveness

Mr Cantat appeared in court earlier on Thursday in handcuffs, looking pale and dejected.

A police officer escorts French rock star Bertrand Cantat
Cantat appeared in court looking pale and dejected
In an emotional statement to the judge, Nadine Trintignant, who was also in court, said Mr Cantat should remain in custody because he was reportedly a danger to others.

She claimed Mr Cantat was known to have assaulted other women in the past.

Mr Cantat also addressed the court, saying he was sorry about what had happened - but that it was an accident, not a crime.

"I ask for pardon from Nadine and her children," he said.

Mr Cantat was first detained Tuesday on "suspicion of causing bodily injury".




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