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Last Updated: Monday, 29 March, 2004, 10:15 GMT 11:15 UK
Singer jailed for killing lover
Bertrand Cantat in court to hear the verdict
Cantat said he was deeply sorry for Trintignant's death
A court in Lithuania has sentenced a French rock star to eight years in prison for killing his actress girlfriend during a fight.

Bertrand Cantat, 40, was convicted of fatally beating Marie Trintignant, 41, in a Vilnius hotel room last year.

Cantat, lead singer with Noir Desir, had admitted killing Ms Trintignant but said it was an accident.

Prosecutors had sought a sentence of nine years, saying Cantat had known the gravity of his actions.

Impassive

The singer's lawyers wanted a reduced charge of reckless manslaughter, which carried a lesser penalty.

I don't understand. I just can't understand
Bertrand Cantat

Cantat remained impassive as the verdict was announced.

"According to the judges' opinion, the guilt of the accused is indisputable," the presiding judge said, noting that Cantat "did not want the consequences" of his acts.

When asked if he understood the sentence, Cantat replied: "Yes".

Cantat's lawyer, Olivier Metzner, said he will appeal against the verdict.

Remorseful

Ms Trintignant's killing and Cantat's trial gripped France, where both are well-known personalities.

During the trial, the court heard that Cantat hit Ms Trintignant four times as they rowed in the hotel last July.

Ms Trintignant, the daughter of French film star Jean-Louis Trintignant, died five days later from swelling of the brain.

Cantat admitted slapping Ms Trintignant, but said he did not intend to kill her.

"I don't understand. I just can't understand," Cantat told the court.

"We lived an extraordinary moment, I loved Marie with all my being. I loved her and I'll always love her. I think of her each second and I'll always think of her. I can't erase her from my memory," he said.

Nadine Trintignant, the victim's mother, has rejected Cantat's explanations, and labelled him a "murderer" in a book she wrote about her daughter.


WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Emma Jane Kirby
"Cantat's lawyers say they will appeal"



SEE ALSO:
Profile: Bertrand Cantat
29 Mar 04  |  Entertainment
Rock star lover 'lost control'
16 Mar 04  |  Europe
Trintignant lover wins slur case
08 Oct 03  |  Europe
Hundreds mourn French actress
06 Aug 03  |  Entertainment
French actress Trintignant dies
01 Aug 03  |  Europe



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