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Stern lover sentenced to 8.5 years for murder

A Geneva court has sentenced the mistress of one of France's richest men to eight and a half years in prison for fatally shooting him during a sex game.

This content was published on June 18, 2009 - 14:53

A 12-member jury rejected claims by Cécile B. that the 2005 murder was a crime of passion.

Prosecutors had asked for a sentence of 11 years before the verdict was handed down on Thursday.

The jury pointed to the "cowardly nature" of the murder, but acknowledged deep regrets of the accused and her difficult childhood.

The case caused a whirlwind of media attention for its sensational, often lurid revelations. Edouard Stern, 50, and the woman, now 40, were having an affair when he was killed wearing a latex suit and tied to a chair in a submissive position during a sex game.

Stern, who amassed a fortune worth several hundred million dollars as a prominent banker, had promised to give Cécile B. $1 million (SFr1.08 million) and to marry her. Neither happened as she'd hoped. When Stern insulted her during the game she went "like a robot" to retrieve a gun out of a drawer, she told the court.

Prosecutors successfully argued that the French woman shot Stern "out of hate" and that "the money was the reason for his death".

The convicted woman expressed remorse before deliberations and asked Stern's former wife and children to forgive her.

"I am not a thief. I am not poisonous," she said. "I am just desperately in love with a man and I will be forever."

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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