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Tuesday, 19 February, 2002, 18:34 GMT
Pastor's daughter relates grisly murders
Andras Pandy arrives in court
Andras Pandy denies murdering to cover up his incestuous relations
The daughter of a pastor accused of murdering six members of his family has given a Belgian court a grim account of how she assisted her father with the disposal of the bodies.

Agnes Pandy
Agnes' testimony is crucial as no bodies have been found
Hungarian-born Andras Pandy, nicknamed the Diabolical Pastor by the Belgian media, is charged with the murder of two wives, two sons and two of his step-daughters, who disappeared between 1986 and 1990.

Mr Pandy's eldest daughter Agnes, who is also on trial, is the chief witness against her father.

On the second day of their trial, the 44-year-old told the court she had no choice but to assist her father or be killed herself. She described in detail how they murdered the six family members and dissolved their bodies in caustic soda.

Incest

Remains of the six bodies have never been discovered, but when police searched Mr Pandy's three houses in Brussels, they found an arsenal of weapons, barrels of industrial-strength acid and the remains of several other bodies.

Mr Pandy, 75, denies the murder charges, claiming his former wives and the children are still alive, but have been brainwashed by a religious sect.

Bottles produced in evidence
Pandy allegedly used acid to dissolve the bodies
He also rejects charges that he raped Agnes and two of his step-daughters.

According to Agnes, Mr Pandy starting murdering in order to cover up his incestuous relationships after his step-daughter Timea became pregnant with his child.

Shortly afterwards Timea fled to Canada with her son.

Agnes has claimed that she and her father made several trips to Canada in an attempt to find Timea, kill her, and recover her now 16-year-old son.

Thrown out

Mr Pandy's lawyer says that his client will be arguing that Agnes Pandy's testimony is unreliable and that media publicity has made a fair trial impossible.

On Tuesday a woman was thrown off the jury after she said in a television interview that she thought Mr Pandy was guilty.

Belgian police, still under heavy scrutiny following the case of Marc Dutroux, who is due to stand trial for the kidnap and murder of four girls aged between eight and 19, have been criticised for their handling of the investigation.

The case only came to light after national outrage over the Dutroux saga forced police to re-examine old allegations of child abuse.

The trial is expected to last about three weeks.

See also:

31 Jan 02 | Europe
Child-sex trial shocks Belgium
22 Jan 02 | Europe
Media condemns Dutroux senator
22 Jan 02 | Europe
Belgian sex ring 'ignored'
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