Anti-abortion murder suspect to be extradited  

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A French court approved the extradition to America of the alleged "pro-life" murderer of an abortion doctor yesterday, but the case is expected to go into a lengthy appeal.

The court in Rennes, Brittany, said it accepted the assurances given by American authorities that James Charles Kopp – known as the "Atomic Dog" – would not face the death penalty if convicted of murder. Mr Kopp, 46, a carpenter and militant anti-abortion activist, was arrested in Dinanin March. He is suspected of murdering Dr Barnett Slepian in front of his family at his home in Buffalo, New York, in 1998.

Under French law, no one can be extradited to a country where they might receive a harsher penalty than they would face in France. Mr Kopp is wanted on a federal charge of premeditated homicide.

The American embassy in Paris sent a letter to the court, promising the death penalty would not be sought. The judges said they regarded this as a "binding engagement". But Mr Kopp's lawyer hinted that he intended to appeal.