Shepherd on trial over 1998 Corsica assassination

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Shepherd on trial over 1998 Corsica assassination

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The trial of the man suspected of the 1998 murder of France’s top government representative in Corsica has begun.

The killing of Claude Erignac was the most serious political assassination in France since World War Two.

Yvan Colonna, a shepherd, has always denied the charge and a man convicted of involvement in the plot has since claimed he killed Erignac.

The murder stunned France, which had become used to years of low-level nationalist violence on Corsica.

Colonna’s lawyer said: “He is not afraid of this trial, he’s been waiting a long time for his trial and he is determined to let the truth be known and to prove his innocence.”

The court has agreed to summon President Nicolas Sarkozy’s chief of staff after he was reported to have met one of the witnesses.

Erignac was shot in the head in the Mediterranean island’s main city Ajaccio as he walked to a concert.

The trial is due to last a month.