Victim: Australian student Jeanette O'Keefe was killed in Paris in 2001. Photo: Supplied
A Frenchman has insisted on his innocence as he appealed his conviction for murdering an Australian student who was beaten, strangled and dumped in a car park outside Paris.
Brazilian-born Adriano Araujo Da Silva, 37, was found guilty and sentenced to 30 years in prison in January last year for the murder 11 years earlier of Jeanette O'Keefe, 28, from Melbourne.
O'Keefe's body was found rolled up in a sleeping bag in a car park in the Paris suburb of Les Mureaux on January 2, 2001 - three days after a series of events left her alone and without a bed for the night on New Year's Eve.
Appeal: Adriano Araujo da Silva. Photo: AFP
''I am innocent, I must be acquitted,'' Araujo Da Silva told the court as his appeal began on Tuesday in the Paris suburb of Nanterre. A ruling is expected on Thursday.
Araujo Da Silva had confessed to the crime twice before retracting his testimony, saying he had been pressured by police. He said he took O'Keefe home and argued with her, but insisted she left unharmed.
O'Keefe's four brothers and sisters, who are civil plaintiffs, were in court.
''We feel sick to the stomach to have to go through this again but we do it for Jeanette,'' her sister Denise said. ''Even after he killed my sister, he still has lied. I think he'll make up any story that he thinks will get him out of jail.''
Araujo Da Silva said he had met O'Keefe on the Champs Elysees on New Year's Eve and taken her to his home in Les Mureaux, where her body was found three days later.
French investigators found male DNA under her fingernails, but it was eight years before they found a match, when Araujo Da Silva was arrested for theft.