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Slain Swede's accused killer sentenced to life

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Slain Swede's accused killer sentenced to life
14:47 CEST+02:00
An illegal Paris taxi driver was sentenced by a French court on Friday to life in prison for the brutal murder of a Swedish student four years ago.

Bruno Cholet was convicted of killing 19-year-old Susanna Zetterberg after he picked her up outside a Paris nightclub in the early hours of April 19, 2008.

Cholet had maintained to the victim's parents and brother that he was innocent as the judge retired earlier on Friday afternoon.

"I am innocent... I never met your daughter and I did not kill her. I want you to leave this courtroom, to leave France, with that certitude," Bruno Cholet told the family members who had sat through the two-week trial.

A prosecutor on Thursday demanded that Cholet be sentenced to life in prison with a stipulation that he serves a minimum of 22 years behind bars for the 2008 murder of 19-year-old Susanna Zetterberg.

Cholet has repeatedly denied having murdered the language student after picking her up in his illegal taxi outside a Paris nightclub in the early hours of April 19, 2008.

Her body was recovered later the same day in Chantilly forest north of the capital.

She had been shot four times in the head, had her hands tied behind her back with handcuffs and her corpse was so badly burnt police were unable to establish whether she had been sexually assaulted.

The prosecution case rests on evidence that the DNA of both Cholet and the victim were found on a gun recovered from his car.

Cholet claims the police fabricated the evidence in a bid to frame him after he refused to become an informer.

A psychiatrist who testified earlier in the trial described the 55-year-old as having a "psychopathic" personality that was unlikely to be reformed by specialist treatment.

AFP/The Local

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