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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 March, 2005, 16:36 GMT
Stern killing: French woman held
Edouard Stern - copyright Empics, one use only
Investment banker Edouard Stern was one of France's richest men
A woman has been charged with the murder of a French banker who was found dead earlier this month in his luxury apartment in the Swiss city of Geneva.

Edouard Stern, 50, one of France's richest men, was dressed in a latex suit and had been shot in the head.

The Swiss judge in charge of the case said a French woman with whom Mr Stern "had intimate and regular relations over several years" had been detained.

He said the woman, who had acted alone, had "admitted" the sex-related killing.

"Mr Stern, dressed in a latex body suit, was killed with four shots from a handgun, two of them to the head, in the framework of a sexual relationship related to his private life," investigating judge Michel Alexandre Graber said.

The motivation for the crime "might have been financial or personal", his statement added.

Heir-apparent

The woman - who had a key to Mr Stern's high-security apartment above a police station in central Geneva - had been in a legal dispute with the financier, the judge said.

The suspect is now being questioned by police in Geneva.

Mr Stern, who was found dead on 1 March, had a formidable reputation in the banking world, having forced his father out of the family firm Banque Stern two years after starting work there aged 22.

He went on to become heir-apparent to French merchant bank Lazard, after marrying the daughter of its chairman, but left in 1997.

Since then he had run his own investment fund, valued at several hundred million dollars.

The banker was separated from his wife, who lives in New York with their three children. He was buried near Geneva last week.




SEE ALSO:
Swiss banker kills colleagues
05 Jul 04 |  Europe


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