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Murde , Secrets and Lies

Two famously wealthy European financiers died under highly mysterious circumstances. One in a bizarre shooting last March, the other six years ago, when an arson blaze engulfed his Monaco penthouse. But are the right people behind bars? Sue Russell investigates

n the afternoon of Tuesday, March 1, three business associates of multimillionaire French investment banker Edouard Stern gingerly opened the door to his lavish Geneva penthouse. While loathe to invade his privacy, they were also worried: Uncharacteristically, Stern had missed two morning appointments. O

Stern’s cleaning lady let them in and they hesitantly padded down the hallway to his bedroom.What greeted them was a confoundingly eerie sight; a mix of murderous gore and a kinkily erotic scenario. An alien-like form lay on the floor, encased head to toe in a flesh-coloured, latex bodysuit and unrecognisable as Stern. Copious amounts of blood indicated that someone was very dead.

Opposite page: French investment banker Edouard Stern was found dead in his lavish Geneva penthouse Left inset: Stern was embroiled in ugly litigation with a Russian company This photo: The fire that ripped through Edmond Safra’s penthouse mansion asphixiated the tycoon who had barricaded himself in the steel-doored safe room

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