Wojceich Janowski, serving a life sentence for the killing of his mother-in-law, Hélène Pastor, took to the stand on Thursday at an appeal hearing to accuse her son of the assassination.

His astonishing accusation caused outrage in the court in Aix-en-Provence, prompting Gildo Pastor-Pallanca’s lawyer Gérard Baudoux to question if he was ashamed to make the claim. “You are despicable,” he said, pointing at Janowski.

Previously, Janowski had claimed that he had admitted to the killing of Hélène Pastor in order to save his partner, Hélène’s daughter, Sylvia Ratkowski, who had been taken into custody and released a few days later.

Pascal Dauriac, Janowski’s fitness coach and the man entrusted to enlist the actual assassins, has said consistently from the first trial following the 2014 murders that Janowski had recruited him to kill his mother-in-law by offering a range of inducements, including 140,000 euros in cash. Now Janowski claims that Dauriac organised the assassination of Hélène Pastor and her right-hand man on behalf of Gildo Pastor-Pallanca.

Mrs Pastor was ambushed while on her way to visit her son in hospital in Nice after he suffered a stroke.