French ex-mayor commits suicide before trial

The former French mayor of Tours, due to take the stand in a corruption case involving fake Chinese wedding trips in the picturesque Loire valley city, killed himself before the trial opened, authorities said Tuesday.

Jean Germain, 67, seen as a close ally of President Francois Hollande, was found dead near his house, according to a police source.

He left a suicide note, saying he was being prosecuted “for political reasons,” something he found “unbearable.

“You can be sure that I never embezzled a centime, that I did not take any money, that I always worked for what I believed to be in the best interests of the people of Tours,” the note read.

A visibly moved Hollande described the suicide as a “terrible tragedy” and hailed Germain as a “great elected official.”

Prime Minister Manuel Valls said he was “overwhelmed” by the news, adding: “I have lost a friend.”


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