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Fax error frees murder suspect

Crucial hearing did not take place in time after important message was not received

One of two men alleged to have murdered a DJ in 2010 has been released from jail, after a technical problem with a fax machine at a Bobigny court meant his hearing missed a legal deadline.

The 24-year-old accused, referred to only as Amadou F, was released under legal control on Wednesday night, after it emerged a case hearing did not take place within the required 20-day period, after a fax sent by the prosecution was not received because there was no ink in the receiving machine.

As a result, the accused was released from prison, where he had spent the past 37 months.

Peggy Julien and Jean-Gilles Portejoie, lawyers for the accused, said: “The Code of Criminal Procedure provides that in case of ‘timeout’, the penalty is the immediate release of the prisoner.

“The judges applied the law and there is nothing shocking that a person claiming his innocence is released,” added Mr Portejoie.

Mr Amadou is alleged to have been among a group of people who gatecrashed a New Year’s Eve party in Blanc-Mesnil, Seine-Saint-Denis, in 2010, and beat the DJ, 31-year-old husband and father Claudy Elisor to death.

Mr Elisor’s widow, Fabienne, told BFMTV that she was unable explain what had happened to her children.

When asked about the problems with the fax machine, a representative from the Bobigny court said a lack of regular maintenance had failed to take into account the fax machine’s age, and the toner it used was out of stock.

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