Top French lawyer's body found washed up on private island beach

Top French lawyer's body found washed up on private island beach

The body of one of France's best-known criminal lawyers Oliver Metzner was found washed up on a beach near his home in Brittany by police.

The 63-year-old was found at about 9am on Sunday on the coast of his private island, Boedic.

Police said he left a note but they did not confirm that it was a suicide letter.

ABC News reports that Antonin Levy, his associate, told The Associated Press that Metzner's death represented a huge loss to the French bar and called him a "great lawyer and a fighter".

Metzner became famous in France for taking the trickiest and most media-watched cases during his four-decade career.

He had high-profile defendants including the Panamanian former dictator Manuel Noriega, "rogue trader" Jérôme Kerviel and Continental Airlines, which was accused of causing a catastrophic Concorde crash in 2000.

The Guardian reports that Metzner bought Boedic Island in the Morbiah Gulf in 2010 and described it as a "magnificent, remarkable place".

But at the end of 2012 he announced his intention to sell it, saying he had "more interesting plans".

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