PARIS (Reuters) - A suspect detained last week over the killing of three Kurdish rebel activists in Paris was placed under formal investigation for murder on Monday, the Paris prosecutor said.

Thirty-year-old Omer Guney was the driver of one of the women who were shot in the head on January 9 at an institute linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Prosecutor François Molins said.

Guney, who told prosecutors he had been a PKK member for two years, denied the charges.

"The presence of Omer Guney in the apartment within the time frame during which the triple murder took place, and without an explanation from him, gives us serious clues that suggest his participation in the acts committed on January 9," Molins said.

According to investigators, video surveillance showed that Guney was in the apartment, or at least in the building, for 45 minutes at around the time of the murders.

One of the victims was a founding member of the PKK - which took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984 with the aim of carving out a Kurdish homeland in the southeast of Turkey.

The PKK has blamed the killings on shadowy elements within the Turkish state - which considers it a terrorist organization - or foreign powers.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has said initial evidence in the triple murder suggested the motive may be an internal feud in the PKK or a desire to derail peace talks.

The Turkish government announced this month that it had begun discussing with jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan how to end the conflict.

(Reporting by Nicolas Bertin; Writing by Vicky Buffery and John Irish; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)




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