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Last Updated: Monday, 12 January, 2004, 17:21 GMT
'Long wait' for Spanish murder trial
Anthony and Linda O'Malley
Anthony and Linda O'Malley were originally from Liverpool
The trial of two men charged with the kidnap and murder of a couple from north Wales could take more than five years to come to court, legal experts have warned.

Anthony and Linda O'Malley, who lived in Llangollen, were killed while they were house hunting in Spain in 2002.

Two men - thought to be from Venezuela - were charged with the couple's murder 10 months ago - but a report from Spain's Judicial General Council could mean that their court hearing is far from imminent.

The report says there are nearly a million criminal cases are awaiting trial in courts across the country.

This is the latest setback to the O'Malley family who had to wait several months before the Spanish Police found the couple's bodies in the cellar of a house near the costal resort of Benidorm.

The O'Malleys, who were originally from Liverpool, had travelled to Spain in August 2002 to go on holiday as well as looking for a retirement home on the Costa Blanca.

Villa near Benidorm
The couple's bodies were found in a villa near Benidorm

Mrs O'Malley, 55, was supposed to return to Wales the following month with her 42-year-old husband following later that year.

Their last conversation with a member of the family took place on 4 September 2002. They then disappeared and were the subject of a missing persons inquiry for six months.

After the O'Malleys' bodies were found a post-mortem examination found that the couple had been asphyxiated and that Mrs O'Malley had been beaten before she had died.

Police believed at the time that the couple may have been tricked by an advert placed in the English-language paper Costa Blanca News offering a villa for sale.

The may have been kidnapped at the villa from where Mr O'Malley was believed to have been taken regularly to cash points and forced to hand over large amounts of money while his wife was held captive.

It is thought the couple were held for up to 15 days before they died.

Final farewell for O'Malleys
22 Sep 03  |  Wales
Spain murder: bodies returned
05 Sep 03  |  North East Wales
Daughters visit murder villa
12 May 03  |  Wales
Trial wait in O'Malley case
03 Apr 03  |  Wales
Murdered couple asphyxiated
28 Mar 03  |  Wales

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