Widow of EU diplomat jailed for his 2007 murder in Ivory Coast

Published: 09:30 AM, 3 Jul, 2021
Widow of EU diplomat jailed for his 2007 murder in Ivory Coast
Caption: File photo.
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Fourteen years after a French EU security agent was shot dead in the Ivorian capital Abidjan, his widow was jailed in Paris Friday for his murder.

As the 15-year jail term was delivered, Karine Blanc wept loudly as police handcuffed her and led her away.

Her French husband Michel Niaucel was shot in the chest at their home in Abidjan in February 2007, aged 54.

Blanc, who is now 54 herself, has always denied committing the crime, but was in the house at the time of the shooting along with their then 13-year-old daughter.

Local police had swiftly ruled out suicide and theft as motives for the crime and there were no signs of a forced entry into the villa, which was under high security.

"I did not kill my husband," she declared for the last time earlier Friday, before the jury retired to deliberate.

At the time of the murder she was expecting a baby and Niaucel wasn't the father.

Blanc had claimed that her husband was shot accidentally as she was attempting to prevent him committing suicide.

She had earlier served around 18 months in preventative detention before being released.

Niaucel was recruited to the EU delegation in Abidjan in early 2004.

During unrest in the country that year, he worked on the repatriation of some 8,000 French nationals including his wife and daughter.

He returned alone to Abidjan in 2005 and was later rejoined by his wife and daughter.


Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.