(AFP) – Jul 8, 2008
LONDON (AFP) — Detectives investigating the brutal murder of two French students in London said Tuesday they have been given more time to question a man who turned himself in over the killings.
In a statement, London's Metropolitan Police said a judge had granted them a "warrant of further detention," meaning they can keep the 33-year-old suspect in custody for a further 36 hours.
The man walked into a south London police station on Monday and was taken to hospital for treatment to burns.
Police refused to comment on press speculation that he had confessed to killing Gabriel Ferez and Laurent Bonomo, both 23, whose burnt and mutilated bodies were found in Bonomo's torched flat in south-east London on June 29.
The students had been bound, repeatedly stabbed in the head, neck, torso and back and set alight.
A coroner's inquest into both men's deaths was opened and adjourned for 28 days pending police inquiries, a spokeswoman for Southwark Coroner's Court said.
Inquests are held in England and Wales in the event of a violent, sudden or unexplained death. Police investigations and any subsequent legal action take precedent.
Hardened murder squad detectives have been shocked by the savagery of the attack.
Bonomo had been knifed nearly 200 times while Ferez suffered around 50 wounds during the attack in the tough New Cross area of London.
The only other person held in connection with the case, a 21-year-old man arrested on Saturday, was released without charge the following day.
Police renewed their appeal for witnesses and information regarding the fire in the ground-floor flat.
Bonomo and Ferez were exchange students from a university in Clermont-Ferrand, central France, studying biochemistry at London's prestigious Imperial College.
Police are investigating whether their deaths were linked to a burglary at the flat on June 23, in which a laptop was taken.
Detectives believe two Sony PSP game consoles and the victims' mobile phones and bank cards are also missing from the flat.
The deaths coincide with growing concerns about knife and gang culture in London.
The number of teenagers killed in violent circumstances in the British capital so far this year rose to 19 on Monday when a 14-year-old boy stabbed three weeks ago died in hospital.
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