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Trial begins of Brazilian accused of chopping up Briton

world Updated: May 14, 2009 20:08 IST

AFP
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A Brazilian man accused of murdering and chopping up his British girlfriend in July last year went on trial in central Brazil on Thursday.

Mohammed D'Ali Carvalho dos Santos, 21, was led into the courtroom in the city of Goiania in handcuffs and escorted by six police officers, an AFP photographer saw.

He is charged with murdering Cara Marie Burke, 17, whose body parts were found in a suitcase and a bag in rivers near the apartment they shared.

According to the accusation, Santos confessed to stabbing Burke to death on July 26 when she threatened to reveal his drug addiction to family and police.

He then allegedly took a photo of her corpse with his cellphone before heading out to a party. On his return, prosecutors said, he used a carving knife to dismember her and disposed of the body.

Burke's torso was recognized by a friend in Britain who identified a tattoo in a television report.

After his arrest, Santos allegedly tried to offer a 70,000-real (45,000-dollar) bribe to be let go.

The Diario da Manha newspaper said Santos's defense lawyers were to argue that their client was psychologically disturbed and drug-dependent.

Santos and Burke met in London, where both their mothers live.