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Pastor denies family mass murder

Pandy denies six murder charges  

BRUSSELS, Belgium -- A Hungarian-born pastor faces charges of killing two of his wives and four children, although none of the bodies have been found.

The trial of Andras Pandy, 74, who was arrested in Brussels in October 1997, began in Belgium on Monday.

After being questioned about the disappearance of his relatives in 1988, he was charged with killing first wife Ilona Sores and their two sons Daniel and Zoltan.

His lawyer, Hein Diependaele, said Pandy, a Belgian citizen, would plead not guilty to all charges.

The Protestant minister was also charged with murdering second wife Edit Fintor and her daughter Andrea from a previous marriage -- both of whom disappeared in 1986 -- and a fourth child, Tunde, another step-daughter who vanished in 1989.

Pandy, who taught religion in Flemish schools in northern Belgium, is also charged with raping several of his daughters and his step-daughters.

Pandy's eldest daughter Agnes, 44, is on trial alongside him, accused of assisting in five of the six alleged murders.

Agnes confessed to the crimes in November 1997 and is hoping for a lenient sentence or possible acquittal, her lawyer Walter Muls said.

"Either she joined in (with Pandy) or she would have become a victim herself," Muls said.

The jury trial is expected to last until March 6.

Police searched Pandy's three houses in Brussels after his arrest and found an arsenal of firearms in a hidden room. After extensive digging they found the remains of at least 16 people.

But DNA tests have since showed no link with the missing family members.

Agnes Pandy, who is not charged with Tunde's killing, told investigators she carried out the other murders with her father.

According to her testimony, Pandy's family were either shot or beaten to death with a hammer and their remains cut up and dissolved in caustic soda.

Her father said the missing family members were still alive, but had been brainwashed by a sect.

Prosecutors said the murders were sparked by a growing hostility between Pandy and his second wife, who discovered he had impregnated her eldest daughter Timea in an incestuous relationship.

According to the charge sheet, Pandy spoke of sons Daniel and Zoltan as "rotten fruit." He attacked Daniel for being an ungrateful son, who lacked respect for his father.

Prosecutors said a psychiatric report on Pandy revealed he was suffering from "a narcissistic personality disorder with paranoid and anti-social traits."


• Brussels slaughter trial begins
February 18, 2002



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