A mild mannered father-of-one screamed ‘I am innocent!’ seconds before being burnt alive by a rampaging mob on an idyllic holiday beach, it emerged today.
The last words of Frenchman Sebastien Judalet, 38, were recorded by a vigilante ‘court’ in the most popular tourist resort of Madagascar last Friday.
Judalet, a Paris postman with an 11 year old daughter, was caught by a crowd of some 300 people along with Roberto Gianfala, a Franco-Italian hotel worker in his 50s.
They were accused of being paedophiles who had murdered an eight-year-old local boy after allegedly cutting off his genitals.
But police today said there was ‘no proof whatsoever’ connecting the men with child’s disappearance and that he may well have drowned on Nosy Be, an idyllic Indian Ocean island which attracts holidaymakers from all over the world including Britain.
The chilling voice recording is of a desperate Judalet screaming : ‘I am the victim of a conspiracy. I am innocent’.
It is then that a confusion in Mr Judalet’s words may have caused his horrific death. He shouts, ‘I do not like children,’ to which a member of the crowd replies : ‘You do not like children ?’
Mr Judalet replied : ‘I love kids, I have a little girl.’ He can be heard crying and further begging for mercy, before he is stripped naked, mutilated, and burnt on a beach fire alongside Mr Gianfala.
Both men were on holiday in Madagasgar, and neither had any criminal record or association with paedophilia.
In a further macabre twist, it emerged that a third man killed in the same manner was the boy’s uncle, referred to only by his first name of Zaidou.
A neighbour of Mr Judalet in the Paris suburb of Montreuil said he was ‘mild mannered and extremely friendly’.
‘Sebastien would not have hurt anyone. It is clear that he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.’
French magistrates have now opened a murder enquiry, and detectives from Paris are expected to travel to the island to investigate.
Madagascar police have, meanwhile, arrested 26 people for the three murders, where security has been stepped up to protect foreigners.
All of those arrested live close to the palm-fringed Ambatoloaka beach, where the lynchings and burnings were caught on camera.
Vincent Laza, a local community leader, said the boy’s body was wet when it was found, suggesting he may have drowned, and that his genitals were cut off later.
He confirmed that there had been ‘rumours’ that foreigners had been involved in the boy’s death – leading to the vigilante mob forming. Two members of the crowd were shot dead by police.
Despite its upmarket tourist resorts, Madagascar is an extremely poor place, with some 90 per cent of its population of 22 million people living on less than two dollars a day.
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