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Page last updated at 20:40 GMT, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 21:40 UK

Lover admits to kinky sex killing

The building where Edouard Stern was found dead pictured on 8 June 2009
Edouard Stern was found dead inside his flat in Geneva

The lover of one of the most influential bankers in Europe has broken down in court and admitted killing him after kinky sex.

Cecile Brossard, 40, shot French investment banker Edouard Stern, 50, in his luxury apartment in Geneva in 2005.

Mr Stern, a friend of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, was found in a latex body suit with four bullet wounds.

Defence lawyers say during a sex game he told her: "A million dollars is a lot of money to pay for a whore."

Ms Brossard told the court in Geneva at the start of her trial she would "try to explain the truth".

I would like to ask for forgiveness, but we cannot seek forgiveness for something so abominable
Cecile Brossard

Mr Stern was an investment banker and the 38th richest man in France.

His death was at first rumoured to be linked to the Russian mafia, before his lover confessed.

Lawyers for the Stern family claim she wanted money and planned to kill Stern when she realised she would not get it - a premeditated killing which would carry a sentence of up to 20 years.

Ms Brossard's lawyers, however, say Mr Stern had humiliated and abused her, and that the shooting was an unpremeditated crime of passion - which has a maximum sentence of only 10 years.

Sex game

After the court heard testimony from Mr Stern's former wife Beatrice, and their two adult children, Ms Brossard said: "I would like to ask for forgiveness, but we cannot seek forgiveness for something so abominable. The only thing that I can do is to try to explain the truth."

Ms Brossard described Mr Stern as "an intelligent man, refined, extraordinary in every way".

Mr Stern's lawyers say he was killed in a row over $1m, which he had transferred to his lover's account but then blocked.

Her lawyers say that during the course of a sado-masochistic sex game he provoked her by saying: "A million dollars is a lot of money to pay for a whore."

According to them, his words led Ms Brossard to seize his gun, that was in the bedroom, and to shoot him - twice in the body and twice in the head.

The trial is expected to last 10 days.



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