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France: Woman accused of infanticide goes on trial after 20 years00:51

France: Woman accused of infanticide goes on trial after 20 years

France, Douai
June 25, 2015 at 03:53 GMT +00:00 · Published

The trial of Dominique Cottrez, who stands accused of killing eight of her babies over the space of 20 years, kicked off at North Assize Court in the northern French commune of Douai, Thursday.

Cottrez's family joined her in court where she quickly broke into tears during questioning. Her husband, Pierre-Marie Cottrez, could be seen crying in the courtroom as the trial started. The 51-year-old woman's husband reportedly had no idea of the crimes, with Cottrez hiding her pregnancies through her obesity, making use of her husband's business trips to kill the children.

In one of the biggest cases of infanticide in French history, Cottrez is accused of killing eight of her newborn babies in the late 90s in the village of Villers-au-Tertre, before hiding the bodies in her house and garden for over 20 years. Several of the babies, some of whom were believed to have been conceived during a purported incestuous relationship with her father, were discovered in 2010. Cottrez admitted to murdering the children, but attempted to escape charges because the crimes had taken place more than 10 years ago, meaning the "statute of limitations" for prosecution had expired. The court rejected the claim since the bodies had been hidden.

The trial will run until July 2.

France: Woman accused of infanticide goes on trial after 20 years00:51
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Description

The trial of Dominique Cottrez, who stands accused of killing eight of her babies over the space of 20 years, kicked off at North Assize Court in the northern French commune of Douai, Thursday.

Cottrez's family joined her in court where she quickly broke into tears during questioning. Her husband, Pierre-Marie Cottrez, could be seen crying in the courtroom as the trial started. The 51-year-old woman's husband reportedly had no idea of the crimes, with Cottrez hiding her pregnancies through her obesity, making use of her husband's business trips to kill the children.

In one of the biggest cases of infanticide in French history, Cottrez is accused of killing eight of her newborn babies in the late 90s in the village of Villers-au-Tertre, before hiding the bodies in her house and garden for over 20 years. Several of the babies, some of whom were believed to have been conceived during a purported incestuous relationship with her father, were discovered in 2010. Cottrez admitted to murdering the children, but attempted to escape charges because the crimes had taken place more than 10 years ago, meaning the "statute of limitations" for prosecution had expired. The court rejected the claim since the bodies had been hidden.

The trial will run until July 2.

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