BORDEAUX, France (AP) _ Maurice Papon briefly stormed out of court today when the chief prosecutor accused him of lying during his war crimes trial. He returned, apologizing, about 10 minutes later.

Prosecutor Henri Desclaux was giving his closing argument when the incident occurred.

Speaking of Papon's description of his activities as wartime police supervisor in Bordeaux, Desclaux told the jury that ``the accused has the right to lie.

``But you have the right to take this into consideration,'' Desclaux said.

At that point, the 87-year-old Papon threw up his arms, said ``That's too much!'' and left the courtroom. The proceedings were suspended.

Returning about 10 minutes later, Papon was contrite.

``I ask that you please accept my apologies for the act I have just committed, an act which I am sure everybody will understand,'' Papon said.

Chief judge Jean-Louis Castagnede gave the defendant a stern warning.

``If you do this again, I will conclude that you are showing your decision not to appear in court and I will draw the consequences,'' he said.

Papon is the highest-ranking member of the pro-Nazi Vichy regime to stand trial for war crimes. He is charged with complicity in crimes against humanity for allegedly signing orders that led to the deportation of 1,690 Jews from Bordeaux in 1942-44.