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Somalian kidnappers try to ransom disabled Frenchwoman's dead body

By | October 21st 2011 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Kidnappers who killed a wheelchair-bound French woman by failing to give her medicine now want to sell her body back to her family, it emerged Thursday.

The grotesque demand was received by government officials in Paris following 66-year-old Marie Dedieu’s tragic death in Somalia.

Ms Dedieu's Kenyan boyfriend John Lepapa, 39, said the gang marched the staff off at gunpoint, then one man lifted the 66-year-old French woman on to his shoulders and carried her to a motorboat. Photo: Mail Online

Her beachfront home on Manda Island, in Kenya, had been invaded by around 10 armed men who dragged her away on October 1.

Ms Dedieu, who had been knocked over by a car in the 1970s and later suffered from cancer, was meant to take pain-killing drugs every four hours, but the Somalian kidnappers had not allowed it.

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And Thursday France’s Defence Minister Gerard Longuet said: ‘To add the worst kind of insult to this horrendous act, they are trying to sell Marie Dedieu’s body back to her loved ones.

‘To abduct a woman of this age, who was disabled, then deny her medicine, let her die, and then make this demand is utterly horrendous.’

He said that agents from the DGSE, France's elite overseas intelligence service, had been working in Africa and passed on the demand.

Ms Dedieu’s boyfriend, John Lepapa, 39, said after the kidnap: ‘My girlfriend pleaded with them and told them to take whatever they wanted from the house, including the money and to spare her life, but they would not listen.’

Ms Dedieu was one of the founders of France's Women’s Liberation Movement (MLF) in the 1960s, and between 1971 and 1973 edited its magazine.

She had settled in the Lamu archipelago of Kenya 15 years ago, moving to the idyllic Manda Island around seven years ago.

She regularly returned to France for medical care and family visits, and kept a flat in Paris.

Ms Dedieu's kidnapping came only three weeks after a similar gang killed a British man and kidnapped his wife.

British tourist Judith Tebbutt, 56, was on holiday with her husband David at the remote Kiwayu Safari Village resort in Kenya when armed men burst into their cottage on 11 September.

Mr Tebbutt was shot dead, while his wife was taken away in a speedboat, by Somali pirates.

Source: Mail Online

Kidnappers French woman Marie Dedieu Somalia Manda Island Lamu John Lepapa Judith Tebbutt Somali pirates
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