Anthony Foley: French inquiries into death to take several weeks

Official says no evidence to ‘suspect anything untoward’ happened to late Munster head coach

The formal investigations in France following the death of Munster head coach Anthony Foley near Paris last Sunday are expected to take several weeks to complete, according to a local official. Photograph: Patrick Bolger/Reuters.

The formal investigations in France following the death of Munster head coach Anthony Foley near Paris last Sunday are expected to take several weeks to complete, according to a local official. Photograph: Patrick Bolger/Reuters.

 

The formal investigations in France following the death of Munster head coach Anthony Foley near Paris last Sunday are expected to take several weeks to complete, according to a local official.

“For us, it’s not completely over,” Catherine Denis, the prosecutor of Nanterre, said in an interview in her office west of Paris.

“We are carrying out an inquest into the cause of a death. The initial results, in particular the autopsy, have not made us suspect anything untoward.”

However, she said an inquest into a death is never routine. “Because behind it lies the grief of a family, and in this case the sadness of a nation, which I understand. So you cannot say it is routine.”

She said her job was “to look into offences and pursue the authors of offences and bring them to justice. So for us the affair is over when it is certain there is no misdeed in connection with Mr Foley’s death… We are not going to violate the privacy of the family or others once there is no legitimacy to our action.”

Pulmonary oedema

Ms Denis said the coroner had concluded the cause of death was a troubled cardiac rhythm that led to an acute pulmonary oedema.

“Inasmuch as there was nothing abnormal, that this appears to be a natural death from a medical cause, the burial permit was issued last night and given to the undertakers who were hired by the [IRISH]embassy to return the remains to the family,” she said.

The prosecutor is waiting for two more reports, both of which are expected to take several weeks. These are toxicological analyses and the police file being drawn up by the Sûreté Générale.

“The investigators will question the hotel employee who found him, and probably the person from the team who also found him, and perhaps one or two people who saw him the previous evening or spent the evening with him,” Ms Denis said. “We will try to know what he did the previous evening, to know if he had a malaise, what he ate and drank, if there is any explanation. Once we receive the file, the inquest can be closed on decision of the prosecutor’s office.”

The inquest file will be consigned to judiciary archives, which are closed to the public.

“If the embassy of Ireland requests a copy, of course we would provide one, but it is not customary in France to release the file.”

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