MARSEILLE, June 24 French police investigating
the shooting death last month of Monaco heiress Helene Pastor
have discovered what they said were 'suspicious' transactions in
the bank accounts of her son-in-law, a prosecutor said on
Pastor, who belonged to one of Monaco's wealthiest families,
was badly wounded on May 6 when a gunman fired at her twice with
a sawed-off shotgun through the window of her car while she was
in the Mediterranean city of Nice.
The 77-year-old woman died from her injuries in hospital in
the night of May 21. Her driver, Mohamed Darwich, 64, also
succumbed to his injuries, on May 10.
Police this week detained Helene's daughter Silvia Pastor
and her husband, Wojciech Janowski, a businessman and honorary
Polish consul in Monaco. They were among 23 people picked up in
a wave of arrests in the cities of Rennes, Nice and Marseille.
"Suspicious financial transactions have been discovered on
the bank accounts of Mr. Janowski and they must be explained,"
Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin told journalists.
Robin said the suspected shooter, who was aided by an
accomplice, arrived in Nice on May 6 and stayed in a hotel where
one of them left traces of DNA on a shower gel packet. Both were
filmed by surveillance cameras as they moved through the city,
including as they got into a taxi to return to Marseille.
The DNA traces allowed police to identify and arrest the
suspected accomplices, both of whom had criminal records, the
"Also, links have been discovered (between Mr. Janowski) and
two intermediaries who were in direct contact with the suspect,"
He added that Silvia Pastor, whose mother was heiress to a
Monaco real estate empire, was being detained "only for the
purpose of the investigation".
Asked if police believed the shooting may have been a
contract killing, he said: "It's fair to think that."
"We have until Friday to establish the chain of
responsibility," said Christian Sainte, who is running the
judicial investigation, referring to the maximum duration
suspects can be detained before being charged.
(Reporting By Gerard Bon; Writing by Nicholas Vinocur; Editing
by Larry King)