Brussels slaughter trial begins
BRUSSELS, Belgium -- The trial is due to start of a pastor accused of killing six members of his family.
The case against Andras Pandy has shocked Belgium with its allegations of incest and murder.
Pandy, a 74-year-old Hungarian-born Protestant minister, was arrested in 1997 after police found body parts hidden in his Brussels home.
He is charged with killing two wives, two of his sons and two stepdaughters.
He is also accused of raping his daughter and stepdaughters.
Police believe he may also have killed at least seven other people whose unidentified remains were unearthed in the home.
Pandy's daughter Agnes, 44, is the chief witness against her father.
She has confessed to taking part in five of the killings, including that of her mother.
Pandy denies the charges.
Hein Diependaele, his lawyer, has disputed the testimony of Agnes Pandy and claims the publicity surrounding the case has made a fair trial impossible.
Prosecutors allege Pandy forced his daughters and stepdaughters into sex, then turned to murder between 1986 and 1989 to cover up the incest after one stepdaughter, Timea, then 20, became pregnant.
Agnes Pandy is also charged with the attempted murder of Timea, who later fled to Canada with her son, now aged 16.
The bodies of the victims are alleged to have been cut into pieces, dissolved in drain cleaning fluid and dumped in the basement of the house or amid animal waste at a nearby slaughterhouse.
Reports of the case stunned Belgium.
In 1996 Marc Dutroux was arrested and charged with raping and killing four girls, aged between 8 and 19.
As in the case of Dutroux, who is still awaiting trial, the police were criticised over their handling of the Pandy investigation.
The disappearances of Pandy's family members were reported in the early 1990's, but police accepted the pastor's assurances that they were living abroad.
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