Ex-soldier sentenced to 20 years for murder in France

Paris, May 12, (dpa/GNA) - An ex-soldier in France has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for murder in a high-profile case that has gripped the country.

Nordahl L, 38, was found guilty on Tuesday, French media reported from the courtroom in Chambery.

He admitted to the court in Chambery that he killed the man, who was also a soldier, but said it was not intentional.

Prosecutors argued he had a sexual motive.

A so-called security period was imposed on the sentence, meaning that no release is possible for two-thirds of the prison term.

The state prosecutor had pushed for the maximum term of 30 years after a trial lasting around a week for the former dog handler.

The trial concerned only the murder of the young soldier, who disappeared in April 2017. Mobile phone data led investigators to the now convicted soldier.

But the case garnered widespread attention in France because the Nordahl L was also suspected of abducting and killing an 8-year-old girl in south-eastern France.

A separate case concerning her death is expected to go to trial in the coming year.

Maely disappeared from a wedding party in summer 2017. During the investigation, DNA traces and camera evidence strengthened the case against Nordahl L, who eventually led investigators to the child's body.

Investigations into other unsolved criminal cases were launched to see if the former soldier could have had something to do with them - but so far there has been no indication of his involvement.