French president pardons woman jailed for killing violent husband

PARIS (AFP) - French President Francois Hollande on Sunday (Jan 31) pardoned a woman who was jailed for 10 years for killing her husband after he abused her for decades, the president's office announced Sunday.

"In the face of an exceptional human situation, the president wanted to make it possible for (Jacqueline) Sauvage to return to her family as soon as possible," the presidency said in a statement.

The case of Sauvage, 68, had become a cause celebre in France, with more than 400,000 people signing a petition demanding her release.

Hollande met with her daughters and lawyers on Friday.

Sauvage was married for 47 years to Norbert Marot, a violent alcoholic who she said raped and beat her and her three daughters and also abused her son.

On Sept 10, 2012, the day after her son hanged himself, Sauvage shot her husband three times in the back with a rifle.

She was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison in October 2014, which was upheld on appeal in December 2015 as the state rejected her plea of self-defence.

The group Osez le Feminisme (Dare To Be Feminist) called for the definition of self-defence to be expanded in cases of "female victims of violence".