MARSEILLE, France: The son-in-law of a Monaco heiress gunned down in a Mafia-style killing has been charged with her murder and paid hitmen for the brazen attack that has shaken the principality’s super-rich.
Wojciech Janowski, a 64-year-old who served as Poland’s honorary consul in Monaco, was charged for last month’s killing of 77-year-old Helene Pastor, Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin told a news conference.
Robin said Janowski had spent 200,000 euros ($272,000) in cash and 50,000 euros worth of presents to stage the contract killing.
Robin said Janowski’s motive was to “lay his hands on the heritage” of his partner Sylvia Pastor, Helene Pastor’s eldest daughter. He said Sylvia Pastor felt “betrayed” by the affair.
“She is in a very difficult psychological state,” Robin said, adding that Janowski’s personal trainer had “organized” the killing.
Poland announced Friday that Janowski had been stripped of his title of honorary consul “because of the loss of the irreproachable reputation that is essential for this role.”
Janowski has been in custody since Monday, when he was arrested along with 22 others by police investigating the shooting of Pastor multiple times with a sawn-off shotgun as she was leaving a hospital in the French Riviera city of Nice.
Her driver, Mohammad Darwich, 64, also died from injuries sustained in the May 6 attack.
Janowski’s partner Sylvia was also detained for questioning but released Thursday without charge. Ten others were released Wednesday.
Robin said earlier that police had identified two suspects alleged to have been hitmen hired to kill Pastor.
The two men – a 31-year-old and a 24-year-old originally from the Comoros islands and living in Marseille’s rough northern districts – had been identified as being “present at the location of the killing.”
The 24-year-old man, Samine Said Ahmad, was the shooter, Robin said, while the older one served as the lookout.
Police are also said to be investigating “suspicious financial flows” in Janowski’s accounts.