12 suspects in Madagascar mob lynching face hard labour

2015-10-09 05:49
Madagascar (iStock)

Madagascar (iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Antananarivo - Madagascar's state prosecutor on Thursday sought the maximum sentence of hard labour for life for 12 suspects on trial for the lynching of two Europeans and a local man in 2013.

On the morning of October 3, 2013, French tourist Sebastien Judalet and Franco-Italian resident Roberto Gianfalla were attacked by a mob that was acting on false rumours of foreign involvement in the death of an eight-year-old local boy and a paedophilia connection.

The two men were beaten and burned on a beach on Nosy Be, an idyllic Indian Ocean island off the northwest of Madagascar. Hours later a third man - the boy's uncle - suffered the same fate.

Three days into the trial of 37 suspects, the prosecutor asked for a life of hard labour for 12 of the 14 people who are being prosecuted for kidnapping and murder - the maximum sentence in Madagascar, which has abolished the death penalty.

The defendants, including 35 civilians and two policemen, have been charged with a range of offences from murder and kidnapping to vandalism. All have pleaded not guilty.

Attorney general Jean de Dieudonne Andrianaivoson appealed to the court over the indictment of two policemen accused of failing to come to the victims' aid and the other 23 suspects on trial for kidnapping and murder.

Christian Raoelina, who is defending the police officers and is seeking his clients' acquittal, claimed they did all they could to save the victims.

"But the real culprits are the public prosecutor, the head of the district" and the mayor "who did not honour their responsibilities and instead put the blame on the police," Raoelina said.

The trial continues on Friday, when the court may reach a sentence.

Sebastien Judalet has been cleared of all suspicions of paedophilia by French police, while there has been no evidence to date that any of the victims of the mob lynching either killed or abused the child.

Read more on:    madagascar  |  southern africa

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.