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Last Updated: Friday, 12 October 2007, 00:18 GMT 01:18 UK
French playboy jailed 30 years on
Jean-Maurice Agnelet in court
Agnelet murdered the heiress soon after her casino sale windfall
An ex-French Riviera playboy has been convicted of murdering his girlfriend, 30 years after she vanished.

Jean-Maurice Agnelet was found guilty by a French court of killing casino heiress Agnes Le Roux, whose body has never been found.

The 69-year-old lawyer was only charged in 2000 after another girlfriend withdrew the alibi she had given him.

Branded a "solitary, villainous, lying vulture" by prosecutors, Agnelet was sentenced to 20 years in jail.

The court in the southern town of Aix-en-Provence heard he had convinced Ms Le Roux to vote against her mother at a board meeting in June 1977 to allow the casino to be sold.

The 29-year-old heiress was paid three million francs from the Corsican buyer and she transferred the cash to a joint account also in Agnelet's name.

When she disappeared later that year, prime suspect Agnelet produced an alibi from another mistress, who told police she had been with him in Switzerland at the time.

But in 1999, she admitted to Ms Le Roux's elderly mother that she had lied, prompting police to reopen the case.

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