2 with extreme-right links arrested in rugby player slaying

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A man suspected in the weekend killing of former Argentina rugby player Federico Martin Aramburu was arrested early Wednesday in Hungary, European Union judicial cooperation agency Eurojust said. A second man was arrested in France, a judicial official said.

Both men were linked with France’s extreme right. They were arrested as suspected participants in the killing, according to the judicial official, who could not be identified by name due to an ongoing investigation.

In addition, a 24-year-old woman, arrested Saturday, the day of the killing, was placed under investigation on Tuesday for alleged complicity.

Paris prosecutors opened a murder investigation after Aramburu, who made 22 international appearances for Argentina during his career, was fatally shot in Paris on Saturday on Boulevard Saint-Germain, a main access on Paris’ Left Bank. He was 42.

Eurojust said one of the suspects had fled to Hungary and was heading for Ukraine when he was detained by border police acting on a search warrant issued by French law enforcement authorities.

The French judicial official confirmed the man’s identity was Loik Le Priol, known for his ties to banned extremist group GUD, which is known for violence. The official confirmed that the other man, arrested in France’s Sarthe region, was Romain Bouvier.

Eurojust said it coordinated the process of French authorities issuing a European Arrest Warrant and sending it to Hungary to enable the suspect to be formally arrested, paving the way for him to be transferred to France.

L’Équipe sports daily first reported Aramburu’s death. According to the newspaper, Aramburu was shot in the early hours of Saturday outside a Paris bar following an altercation involving a group of people including Aramburu and a friend of his.

Aramburu and his friend walked down the boulevard when shots were fired from a jeep, according to French media reports, with one man then getting out and firing the apparently fatal shots.

Besides his ties to GUD, Le Priol is known for creating T-shirts that became a fad among far-right and identity groups.

Aramburu played for Biarritz, Perpignan and Dax in the French league. He won the French championship twice with Biarritz, in 2005 and 2006, and was part of the Argentina team that finished third at the 2007 World Cup. He could play at wing or center.

According to L’Équipe, Aramburu lived in France and had planned to travel to Argentina next week.


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