updated 11/29/2008 12:16:10 AM ET 2008-11-29T05:16:10

French and Romanian police said Friday they have arrested five people in a probe into the killing of a son of Chad's president.

Four people were arrested in the Paris region on Wednesday, according to a Paris police official. He spoke on condition of anonymity in accordance with agency policy.

The four were to appear before a judge in Nanterre, east of Paris, Friday and were expected to be handed preliminary charges in an investigation for "murder in an organized gang," judicial officials said.

Another suspect, a French-Romanian national, was arrested in Romania several days ago on a French warrant, Romanian police said. A Romanian court will decide when the suspect will be handed over to French authorities.

Brahim Deby, the eldest son of Chadian President Idriss Deby, was found dead in the basement of his apartment building in a Paris suburb in July 2007. He was asphyxiated by chemicals from a fire extinguisher that lay near his body.

French authorities opened a judicial probe after the killing for "murder in an organized gang." The prosecutors added a charge Friday of "armed theft in an organized gang," the judicial officials said.

The suspects are believed to have been in the garage of the apartment building when he was found, the French police official said. The motive for the killing may have been theft and not political, but the investigation continues, French police said.

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