An investigation has been launched into the death of leading French racehorse owner, the Marquesa de Moratalla, after it was alleged that she had been the “victim of foul play.”
According to a report in the Racing Post, the prosecutor's office in Bayonne, France, has opened a formal investigation and ordered an autopsy be conducted after the Marquesa's oldest son alleged that she had been murdered.
The Marquesa, described by trainer Francois Doumen as the “'grande dame' of French racing,” died last week at age 87 of natural causes, according to the burial permit. However, her eldest son, Forester Labrouche, claims she was murdered, although he has offered no specific reason for his claim.
Labrouche's actions have brought a vehement response from German de la Cruz, the Marquesa's younger, adopted son. De La Cruz's lawyers said that they believed this is an “attempt by Labrouche to put his brother under suspicion for the death of his mother, who had Alzheimer's.”
Labrouche, in turn, claims De La Cruz prevented him from seeing his mother during her final years.
According to authorities, relations between the two brothers have been strained for several years. Both brothers are currently both engaged a battle over the family fortune, which is reportedly worth over £1 billion.
Read more in the Racing Post
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