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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 March 2006, 17:14 GMT
Murder suspect returns to France
Youssef Fofana at Abidjan airport
Ivorian security personnel handed Mr Fofana to French soldiers
The chief suspect in a French torture and murder case that has shocked the country is back in France after his extradition from Ivory Coast.

Youssef Fofana, a Frenchman of Ivorian decent, arrived at Roissy airport near Paris aboard a military plane.

He is accused of leading a gang that killed a young Jew, Ilan Halimi, who was found naked and bound with horrific injuries last month.

The killing has led to huge protests in France against anti-Semitism.

The suspected gang leader was arrested in Abidjan on 23 February after allegedly travelling there following the murder.

'Co-operation'

Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo signed the extradition order on Friday.

Ivorian Minister of Justice and Human Rights Kone Mamadou said: "It is a sign of a very good co-operation between France and the Ivory Coast."

Mr Halimi was found three weeks after he was abducted.

French ministers and police said he was targeted because he was a Jew and therefore thought to be rich.

Tens of thousands of people have attended protests in France against racism and anti-Semitism.

A convicted petty criminal, Mr Fofana has allegedly admitted the kidnap, but denied murder.

He has also allegedly told Ivorian authorities Mr Halimi's religion was not a factor.


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See Youssef Fofana being extradited



SEE ALSO:
French murder suspect to return
03 Mar 06 |  Europe
French protest for murdered Jew
26 Feb 06 |  Europe


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