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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 March 2006, 07:35 GMT
Corsican MP shot dead at airport
Robert Feliciaggi (2001 photo)
Feliciaggi came to politics from a successful business career
A rightwing Corsican politician and casino boss, Robert Feliciaggi, has been shot dead in an airport car park in the French island's city of Ajaccio.

He died in hospital hours after being shot in the head several times in a car park by a hooded attacker who escaped in a waiting car, police say.

He was attacked as he was loading his luggage into his car boot after arriving on a flight from Paris.

The motive for the attack on Friday night was not immediately clear.

Mr Feliciaggi, 64, was a member of a rightwing breakaway faction of the centre-right UMP party in the Corsican Assembly, according to the French news agency AFP.

This was an ambush staged by professional criminals who were clearly well informed and were waiting for the victim in the airport car park
Jose Thorel
French prosecutor

He was also mayor of the village of Pila Canale in the south of the Mediterranean island.

Nicknamed the "African", he was a successful businessman with interests in casinos in Cameroon, Gabon and Congo as well as in France.

He was also viewed as an ally of former French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua.

Mr Feliciaggi was investigated for corruption in 2002 over the purchase and resale of a casino but he always denied the charges against him.

Investigators into his killing are working on the theory that the attackers stole their getaway car and later burnt it to destroy evidence, Reuters news agency reports.

"This was an ambush staged by professional criminals who were clearly well informed and were waiting for the victim in the airport car park," said prosecutor Jose Thorel.

According to Le Monde newspaper, the killing is the first in 15 years of an elected politician in Corsica, which has seen separatist violence in recent decades.




SEE ALSO:
France pledges Corsica security
28 Aug 03 |  Europe
Profile: Corsica
28 Jun 03 |  Country profiles


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