Wojciech Janowski, son-in-law of Monaco heiress Helene Pastor, hidden by a policeman, arrives in a car at the Marseilles court. Photo by Reuters
The son-in-law of a wealthy Monaco heiress shot dead last
month was placed under investigation by a French judge on
suspicion of having ordered the killing in an apparent
attempt to acquire an inheritance.
Helene Pastor, 77, died late last month from wounds sustained
during a May 6 ambush in the French Riviera city of Nice,
near Monaco, when a gunman fired through the windows of her
car. Her chauffeur also died four days after the attack.
After the arrest of 23 people in the French cities of
Marseille, Nice and Rennes, prosecutors focused on financial
transactions made by Wojciech Janowski, common-law husband of
Pastor's daughter, Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said.
Janowski, a businessman and previously Poland's honorary
consul in Monaco, was brought before a Marseille judge on
Friday (local time) and placed under formal investigation on
suspicion that he ordered the killing, Robin told a news
conference on Friday.
"His true motive could be, according to us, that he wanted to
put his hands on the inheritance" of his wife, Sylvia Pastor,
Robin told reporters.
Sylvia Pastor, who was arrested earlier in the week and later
freed, was "completely cleared" in the matter, Robin said.
Also placed under formal investigation were six other people,
including the suspected gunman, a look-out for the gunman and
the family's sports coach, Pascal Dauriac.
Robin described Dauriac as "the real organiser" of the crime
and added: "He admitted to everything and implicated
"According to Mr. Dauriac ..., Janowski had been planning to
assassinate Mrs Pastor for a long time, because he felt
rejected by the rest of the family ... and by Helene Pastor
in particular," Robin said.
The status of the relationship between Janowski and Sylvia
Pastor was unclear. Robin said they had been together for
eight years, and had one child, a daughter.
According to Robin, Dauriac told police he had received
140,000 euros from Janowski to pay the gunman and the
look-out and that he kept 50,000 euros for himself.
Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski removed Janowski on
Friday from the honorary consul post in Monaco because of
what a ministry spokesman said was a "connection with a
breach of good reputation and a loss of confidence".
Being placed under formal investigation by a magistrate
often, but not always, leads to trial. Under French law, this
step means there exists "serious or consistent evidence"
pointing to probable implication of a suspect in a crime.
The Pastor family, which made its money in real estate, is
highly influential in the wealthy principality of Monaco