Leftist guilty in killing of Renault firm head will not be released

A French appeals court on Wednesday refused to release a now half-paralyzed radical leftist serving two life sentences for two slayings, including the 1986 killing of the head of the Renault auto firm, her attorney said.

"It is a decision that is more political than judicial," said the lawyer, Jean-Louis Chalanset.

Nathalie Menigon's requests for release on medical grounds have repeatedly been turned down. The last was in July, a decision her lawyer appealed, the AP says.

She was convicted, along with other members of the now-dismantled Direct Action group, in 1989 and 1994 for the murders of former Renault chief Georges Besse and Gen. Rene Audran, a Defense Ministry official who was in charge of arms sales.

Menigon is paralyzed on the left side of her body due to strokes. She has been in prison since her arrest in 1987.

Direct Action was linked to Italy's Red Brigades and Germany's Red Army Faction.

A 2002 law allows for the early release of ill or extremely elderly prisoners. Another sick member of Direct Action, Joelle Aubron, was freed in 2004.

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