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Monday, August 20, 2012

French-Jewish woman in bitter Saudi custody battle falls to her death

In February, I noted a story about a French-Jewish woman who had a daughter with a Saudi prince, who then kidnapped the child and is raising her in a Saudi palace as a Muslim. The mother, Candice Cohen-Ahnine, had won a French custody case but the prince refused to give up the girl, who was seen on Facebook in full niqab and playing with her father's guns.

Cohen-Ahnine had even written a book about her battle for her daughter.

It now seems possible that her dedication to her daughter has cost her life:

A French-Jewish mother in a high-profile custody battle with a Saudi prince has died after falling from a fourth-storey apartment, amid suspicions of foul play.
Police are investigating the death of Candice Cohen-Ahnine, 35, who fell from her Paris apartment on Thursday night.

Investigators had initially seen it as an accident, but by yesterday (Sunday) reports in the French media suggested that Ms Cohen-Ahnine had slipped and fallen to her death "as if she was escaping something dangerous".

Police refused to confirm the reports when contacted by The Daily Telegraph.

Ms Cohen-Ahnine's lawyer, Laurence Tarquiny-Charpentier, said the death "seemed to be some sort of accident", and did not know whether foul play was involved. She said there were witnesses, and more information is expected today.

"What I can tell you is that it wasn't a suicide," Ms Tarquiny-Charpentier said.

"She was a woman who was a real fighter and a very positive person, and plus, there were plans to see [her daughter] Aya in mid-September. That was her greatest motivation of all."
(h/t Ian)