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Releasing An Assassin By: BBC News
BBC News | Monday, June 21, 2004

Joelle Aubron with supporter
Aubron wants four of her colleagues to be set free as well

Joelle Aubron, who was part of the left-wing Action Directe, was jailed for life for the 1980s deaths of a Renault boss and a defence official.

Aubron, 45, who had surgery for a brain tumour in March, was released under a 2002 law that allows for the release of ill or elderly prisoners.

She told reporters she wanted four of her colleagues to be set free as well.

The fight for the freedom of my comrades goes on
Joelle Aubron

She was greeted by supporters singing the socialist anthem of the Internationale as she left the Baupaume jail in northern France.

She told reporters: "I am tired and so I am only going to say three things.

"The first is that I am of course happy to have the opportunity to receive some treatment. The second is that the application of the law of March 2002 nevertheless doesn't go as far as expected for many male and female prisoners.

"The third is my conviction that the fight for the freedom of my comrades goes on."


Aubron was one of four people convicted for their part in the shooting of Renault chief executive Georges Besse outside his Paris home in 1986 and of defence ministry official General Rene Audran in 1985.

In their war on "Western imperialism" from the late 1970s, the group claimed around a dozen killings and dozens of attacks.

She was arrested in 1987 and sentenced in 1989 and 1994 to life imprisonment for the murders.

A court ordered her release because she could not receive proper medical treatment in jail.

The same law was used to free Nazi era collaborator Maurice Papon at the age of 93 in 2002, less than three years into a 10-year sentence.

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