8 years in prison and 300,000 euro fine in abduction case
(AFP/sth) In the case concerning the abduction of a friend of Luxembourg businessman Gérard Lopez, one of the accused was sentenced to eight years in prison and a fine of 300,000 euros by a court in Nancy, France.
Marc Bertoldi, 46, who was sentenced Tuesday, had already appeared previously in a spectacular diamond heist valued at 38 million euros at Brussels Airport in 2013.
Bertoldi was arrested in November 2016 and charged with kidnapping and extortion in organised gangs as well as criminal conspiracy, two years after the incident.
He was suspected of having orchestrated the abduction of Stéphanie Turci in June 2014.
The young woman, a friend of Gérard Lopez, was abducted by a group of armed people in June 2014 at her home in Mexy, near Metz, France. She had spent the evening with Gérard Lopez, who was the boss of the Formula 1-team Lotus at the time and who is now the owner of French Ligue 1 club Lille OSC.
The cousin that came “to the rescue”
Marc Bertoldi, cousin-in-law of the young woman, allegedly organised the abduction to extort money from Gérard Lopez, before releasing the young woman 72 hours later, pretending to be her "saviour".
He claimed to be innocent before court and explained that he had only served as an intermediary between the abductors and the Luxembourg businessman. In the end, Mr. Bertoldi managed to extort 300,000 euros from Mr. Lopez in Luxembourg.
The prosecutor, Mathieu Fohlen, had requested 6 years in prison and a fine of 300,000 euros for Mr Bertoldi. Five other men were accused of participating in the kidnapping. Two of them were acquitted, and the others were sentenced to between one and four years in prison.