French Couple arrested for Murder after 23 years on the Run

A French man identified as Jean-Claude Lacote, and his wife, wanted since 1996 for the murder of a British businessman, have been arrested in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, after 23-years on the run.

The 53-year-old and his wife, Hilde Van Acker, 56, were each sentenced to life in their absence for the killing of Marcus Mitchell, who was shot twice in the head in Belgium in 1996.

The pair, listed on Europol’s most wanted list, fled Belgium in the aftermath of the murder only to resurface two decades later in the African country.

“The two were arrested in Abidjan. Lacote on Wednesday night and Van Acker on Thursday morning,” Brussels prosecutors spokesman Celine D’Have told AFP.

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Belgian prosecutors will ask for the couple to be extradited from the Ivory Coast.

After fleeing Europe, initially for Brazil, Lacote landed up in South Africa where he launched a TV career, hosting 10 episodes of a reality crime programme Duty Calls, according to a 2016 report in Britain’s Independent daily.

Source: AFP

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