Net affair led to stabbing

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The Independent Online
A FRENCH court is trying what might have become the world's first cyber-murder.

Regis Viollet and Amandine Estrade, both aged 23, began their love affair on the Internet, like the virtual lovers in the recent Hollywood movie, You Have Mail.

They even had virtual sex on the Web, he in Lyons and she hundreds of miles away in Bordeaux. All went well until the two of them met and they started to have a real love affair. Amandine moved to Lyons to be close to her lover but they rapidly fell out.

In a jealous rage, Mr Viollet followed Amandine and a new boyfriend to her home. He barged his way in and there was nothing "virtual" about the knife that he plunged into her belly.

Amandine survived, however, after emergency surgery in which she lost a kidney.

Mr Viollet, a computer programmer, is on trial in Lyons for attempted murder.

t Most people in France do not believe that the trial of three former ministers in a scandal over Aids-tainted blood will be fair, or will establish who is responsible, a new poll said yesterday.

But an overwhelming 85 percent said they thought that bringing the ministers to trial, an unprecedented event in post-war France, was a good thing.

The three ministers, including a former French prime minister Laurent Fabius, are accused of manslaughter over the management of blood banks blamed for infecting thousands of people with the Aids virus during 1984-85. Many of the victims were haemophiliacs.