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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 November 2007, 02:00 GMT
Canada pig farmer trial nears end
Media assemble outside the courthouse in New Westminster 22 January 2007
The trial began on 22 January amid intense media coverage
Key prosecution witnesses in the trial of a Vancouver man branded Canada's worst serial killer lied in court, a defence lawyer has suggested.

Adrian Brooks said in his closing argument that the witnesses were drug addicts whose testimony was unreliable.

Robert Pickton is charged with killing 26 women, but is being tried first with the murders of six whose remains were found on his pig farm.

Mr Pickton, whose trial began in January, has pleaded not guilty.

Final arguments from the defence and the prosecution began on Monday and are expected to take three days.

The judge will take several days to sum up before the jury retires to consider its verdict.

'Liars'

In court, Mr Brooks attacked the testimony of three key prosecution witnesses, saying they were paid police informants who were addicted to crack cocaine.

"Some people can tell a lie and it just doesn't bother them at all," Mr Brooks said.

Police searching for bodies in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia
Investigators spent months combing the farm near Vancouver
He told the jury of seven men and five women that the discovery of women's remains on Mr Pickton's pig farm did not mean his client was guilty of their murders.

"If you have reasonable doubt it is your duty to acquit Mr Pickton," Mr Brooks told the jury.

During the trial, the prosecution called 98 witnesses while 30 defence witnesses took the stand.

But in Monday's summation the defence focused on the testimony of just three witnesses.

One of them, Lynn Ellingsen, had said that she saw Mr Pickton cutting up a woman's body.

In his testimony another witness, Andrew Bellwood, said Mr Pickton had told how he killed his alleged victims and fed their remains to the pigs on his farm.

Mr Brooks also poured scorn on apparently self-incriminating statements made by Mr Pickton to the police, and asked the jury to believe that Mr Pickton was not intelligent enough to kill so many people and conceal the crimes.

More charges

Prosecutors have argued that Mr Pickton alone killed the six women.

Most of the women Mr Pickton is accused of murdering were prostitutes and drug addicts who disappeared from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside area over more than a decade.

The current trial deals with the deaths of six women: Sereena Abotsway, Andrea Joesbury, Mona Wilson, Brenda Wolfe, Georgina Papin and Marnie Frey.

A trial date for the other 20 murder charges has not been set.

SEE ALSO
Defence rests in pig farmer trial
17 Oct 07 |  Americas
Pig farmer prosecution rests case
14 Aug 07 |  Americas
Pig farmer says he was 'set up'
06 Feb 07 |  Americas
Canadian pig farmer denies murder
09 Dec 06 |  Americas
Two trials for Canada pig farmer
09 Sep 06 |  Americas
Country profile: Canada
23 Oct 07 |  Country profiles

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