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Touvier Appeal Rejected

The Court of Appeals of Versailles has rejected the release request filed by Paul Touvier, the first Frenchman to be convicted of crimes against humanity.

Touvier, 79, former head of intelligence for the Lyon collaborationist militia during World War II, was sentenced on April 20 to life imprisonment for his role in the execution of seven Jewish hostages in Rillieux La Pape, located near Lyon in southeastern France, on June 29, 1944.

The executions were carried out in retaliation for the murder the day before by the Resistance of Philippe Henriot, Vichy’s minister of propaganda.

Jacques Tremolet de Villers, Touvier’s lawyer, filed a release request for his client on the grounds that the court’s sentence was “illegal.” The court rejected the argument.

Touvier appeared Tuesday in front of the Court of Appeals of Versailles behind closed doors. Touvier looked very calm, wearing the same grey jacket and red shirt he had worn during his trial.

Tremolet de Villers said he will now appeal to the Cour de Cassation, France’s Supreme Court. The high court is not expected to render a decision for several months.

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