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Page last updated at 11:53 GMT, Wednesday, 13 May 2009 12:53 UK

US man faces scuba murder charge

Gabe and Tina Watson
Gabe Watson denies murdering his wife Tina during their honeymoon

An American man accused of murdering his wife while scuba diving on their honeymoon in Australia has been remanded in custody in Queensland.

David Gabriel "Gabe" Watson returned to Australia voluntarily and was arrested on arrival in Brisbane on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old is accused of killing his wife, Tina, in October 2003 by turning off her air supply and holding her underwater.

Mr Watson denies the charges and says he wants to clear his name.

At a brief court hearing in Brisbane, a judge ordered Mr Watson to be held in custody until another hearing on 29 May.

This has avoided the need for a complex and lengthy extradition process
Tony Moynihan,
Queensland Director of Public Prosecutions

Christina "Tina" Watson, 26 , was a novice scuba-diver. She drowned while exploring a wreck on the Great Barrier Reef off Townsville, on the 11th day of her honeymoon.

Another diver nearby inadvertently photographed, in the background to one of his pictures, Tina Watson's body lying on the sea floor, as a instructor raced to her rescue.

After a long campaign by her parents, an inquest was held in Australia last year.

A diver races to Tina Watson, seen in the background of a diving photograph
An instructor races to Tina Watson, seen lying on the sea floor

The coroner found that it was likely that Mr Watson, who was an experienced diver, killed his wife by turning off her air supply and holding her underwater until she died.

A warrant for his arrest was issued in June 2008.

Mr Watson, who has since remarried, has always denied the charges. He says his wife got into trouble a few minutes into the dive, and that he surfaced to summon help.

His lawyer said Mr Watson felt he should not have been charged and wanted his name cleared.

In a statement, the Queensland Director of Public Prosecutions Tony Moynihan said he was pleased Mr Watson had returned to face the charges.

"This has avoided the need for a complex and lengthy extradition process," he said.



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