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Monday, 19 March, 2001, 11:39 GMT
Man on trial for Paris serial killings
Georges talks to his lawyer Alex Ursulet
Georges (left) is accused of a seven-year reign of fear
A Frenchman accused of killing seven women in Paris in the 1990s has gone on trial in Paris.

Guy Georges, 38, is said to have stalked his victims in the city's Bastille district before raping and murdering them.

Prosecutors claim they have DNA evidence and fingerprints linking Georges to at least three of the killings.

After his arrest in 1998, he admitted most of the killings, but his lawyers say he will plead not guilty.

Manhunt

All the women who died were single, aged between 19 and 27. Some were attacked in car parks; others were followed to their homes and killed there.

The trial, which follows one the French police's biggest manhunts, is also on a huge scale. Fifty witnesses and 15 experts are due to give evidence.

The witnesses include four women who were allegedly attacked by Georges but survived.

The women, whose full names have not been released, say they were raped and sexually assaulted at knifepoint.

Foster mother

Families of some of those who died will also testify, along with Georges' 71-year-old foster mother.

The hunt for the "Beast of Bastille" has been beset by claims of police bungling.

Officers failed to match up DNA results for several months, while at least one murder was allegedly committed while George was on day release from prison.

Georges, whose father was a American cook who working at Nato bases, was raised by a foster family after being abandoned by his parents.

He has previously been jailed for a number of offences, including knifepoint attacks on women committed when he was a teenager. He faces life in prison if convicted of the murders.

The trial is expected to last two weeks.

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