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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 October 2005, 12:57 GMT 13:57 UK
Tycoon air death 'was accidental'
Paul Louis Halley in 1996
Paul Louis Halley co-founded the Promodes retail chain
An inquest jury has returned a verdict of accidental death after one of the world's richest men died in an air crash in Oxfordshire.

French billionaire Paul Louis Halley, 69, was killed when his light aircraft went down near Oxford airport in 2003.

The same verdict was ruled on the deaths of his wife, Annik Jacqueline, 63, and Belgian pilot Hans Frans Walter Brams, 46, who were also killed.

The inquest, at Oxford Coroner's Court, lasted a day.

Mr Halley was the seventh richest man in France with a fortune estimated at 2.2bn.

Shortly after the accident, the then French prime minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, paid tribute to him as a "shining personality" and brilliant businessman.

An earlier investigation by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch into the crash on 6 December 2003 reached no definite conclusion.

The Socata TBM 700 aircraft was preparing to land at Oxford Airport after arriving from Brussels.

Mystery over tycoon's air death
12 May 05 |  Oxfordshire
Millionaire dies in air crash
07 Dec 03 |  Oxfordshire

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