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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 August 2007, 10:06 GMT 11:06 UK
Pig farmer prosecution rests case
Sketch of Robert Pickton in court 11/12/2006
No evidence was found against anyone except Mr Pickton, police say
The prosecution in the trial of alleged Canadian serial killer Robert Pickton has rested its case, after hearing testimony from 98 witnesses.

It concluded by examining a police officer investigating the case, who said there were no other suspects.

Defence lawyers will begin their case on 20 August. They estimate it will take three weeks to examine witnesses.

The 57-year-old has been charged with 26 murders but is initially being tried for six. He has pleaded not guilty.

Most of the women Mr Pickton is accused of murdering were prostitutes and drug addicts who disappeared from Vancouver's gritty Downtown Eastside during the 1990s.

The prosecution case, which has lasted nearly seven months, has included testimony ranging from gruesome details about cutting up bodies to explanation about the labelling of DNA samples.

'Ready to go'

The defence team revealed for the first time on Monday that it had its own witnesses.

Under Canadian law, the defence is not required to give advance notice of the evidence it is presenting.

Outside the Vancouver courtroom, lawyer Adrian Brooks told reporters the team was "confident and ready to go".

News about the defence case came after prosecuting lawyers examined police Staff Sgt Wayne Clary, the chief investigator in the case.

Sgt Clary denied that the investigation had been focused on Mr Pickton at the expense of other suspects, as the defence team has maintained.

"Actually on the contrary, we went farther afield," he said.

Three other people arrested in the case were never charged because their arrests were simply an investigative technique and there was no evidence against them, he added.

Earlier evidence in the case included a videotape in which Mr Pickton talked about two of the murders to an undercover policeman after his arrest on 22 February 2002.

One witness, a former friend of the accused, described seeing Mr Pickton cutting up a human body in his slaughterhouse.

Prosecutors allege that Mr Pickton butchered the women after he killed them and disposed of the remains on his pig farm outside Vancouver.

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