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French Court Backs Bid to Extradite Fugitive to U.S.

THE WORLD

June 29, 2001|Associated Press

RENNES, France — A French court Thursday recommended the extradition to the United States of an American on the FBI's most-wanted list for the 1998 killing of an upstate New York doctor who performed abortions.

The court said it ruled that James Charles Kopp could be extradited based on assurances that the U.S. government won't seek the death penalty. France, which abolished capital punishment in 1981, does not extradite suspects who face execution at home.

Kopp, who denies shooting Barnett Slepian through his kitchen window as he was making soup, has until Wednesday to decide whether to appeal to France's highest court.

Kopp, 46, ended 2 1/2 years on the run March 29, when he was captured by French police in Dinan.

The judges said they believed that Kopp could receive a fair trial in the United States.

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