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Page last updated at 21:20 GMT, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 22:20 UK

Escaped cult leader re-captured

The helicopter used in the prison escape
Three prisoners escaped in a helicopter with three accomplices

A convicted sex offender and cult leader who escaped from prison by helicopter has been re-captured on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion.

Police said Juliano Verbard and seven others were caught in a building in the island's capital, Saint-Denis.

Verbard, who was serving 15 years, and two other men escaped 10 days ago from a Reunion prison when three accomplices flew over and hoisted them aboard.

Police said the fugitives were hiding in a house when arrested.

Police said 50 officers were involved in the operation, AFP news agency reported.

Verbard, the leader of the pseudo-religious cult, the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, was jailed in 2008 for rape and sex attacks on children, and the other two for their roles in a kidnap.



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