Police await extradition bid in hunt for killer driver

Steve Weaver
Steve Weaver
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Murder detectives in France are trying to extradite a man wanted in connection with the death of former Blackpool Council chief executive Steve Weaver.

Mr Weaver was cycling near his holiday home in Provence when he was knocked down by a man driving a stolen Ford car, who then fled the country, investigators said.

A spokeswoman for the police in France said the fugitive had flown to Algeria.

They are now applying for permission to fly out there and extradite him back to France to face questioning.

Friends and family of 64-year-old Mr Weaver said they hoped the new information would mean justice would soon be done.

His ex-wife Ann, who lives in Blackburn, said: “The family are pleased that the police investigations are making progress.”

Police are now just waiting for permission to fly to Africa and arrest the fugitive. A spokeswoman said: “We know who the suspect is and we think we know where he is, but we cannot catch him because he is not in France.

“We have to be allowed to go there to have an extradition.

“We know he first went to Algeria, but we do not know if he stayed there.

“We just have to follow the law and we will see if we are allowed to go to catch him.

“Police are continuing to investigate the case.”

Keen cyclist Mr Weaver, 64, who was chief executive of Blackpool Council from 2002 to 2011 after 27 years working in Blackburn town hall, suffered injuries to his head and torso when he was knocked off his bike by the car.

He had been travelling from the hamlet of Veaux towards the town Malaucène, on May 28 when he was killed.

An investigation was immediately launched by officers in the area, who issued an e-fit of a man they thought could have been driving.

The prime suspect, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was identified after police carried out tests on DNA found inside the stolen car, which was recovered soon after the crash.

The French national lived in a village near where the crash happened, but is known to have taken a 90-minute flight from Marseille to the Algerian capital Algiers to escape arrest.