Spain judge jails kung fu teacher accused of two murders
A Spanish judge remanded in custody Wednesday a kung fu teacher accused of killing two prostitutes after a sex worker he allegedly assaulted died of her injuries and bones discovered in his gymnasium turned out to be the remains of another woman.
Police in the northern city of Bilbao in Spain's Basque Country broke into 47-year-old Juan Carlos Aguilar's gymnasium's Zen4, on Sunday after a neighbour reported hearing screams.
Inside, they found a badly injured 29-year-old Nigerian prostitute and arrested Aguilar. The woman lay in a coma in a hospital until Wednesday morning when she died, police said.
In a search of the gymnasium at the weekend, officers also discovered bones, which have now been identified as those of a 40-year-old Colombian woman, a police spokesman said.
Police said the woman was also a prostitute.
The bones had been hidden under a tatami mat in plastic bags, according to Spanish media reports.
A judge remanded the martial arts instructor in custody after questioning him for several hours.
Police are investigating to see if the man is responsible for other crimes.
"At the moment we can say there are two victims, these two women, but we have to reconstruct what happened before and see what the evidence we have gathered tells us," the director of the Basque police force, Gervasio Gabirondo, said during an interview with a Colombian radio station.
"Unfortunately we are working with the hypothesis that there may have been others," he added.
Forensic police searched Aguilar's home and divers checked the depths of rivers in Bilbao as part of a broad probe.
"We have removed documents which this person possessed, all the computer databases, disks and digital information which he may have had. All that has to be analysed in detail and with sufficient time," said Gabirondo.
"Therefore we will need weeks to reconstruct the trajectory that he may have had over time."
Aguilar, who set up a so-called Ocean of Tranquility monastery and went by the name Huang C. Aguilar, boasted he was the first Western master of the Shaolin school of kung fu, a three-time world champion and eight-time Spanish champion, according to the Spanish media.
"Our aim is to create a permanent place where we can learn, practice and develop the philosophy and teachings of Master Juan C. Aguilar," says the Facebook page of his so-called monastery.
But his claims of kung fu championship success and even his boast of being a Shaolin master have been denied by martial arts officials speaking to the Spanish press.
Several neighbours and acquaintances of Aguilar have told Spanish media that he appeared to be disturbed in recent months and described him as being "intimidating".
Bilbao city councillors agreed on a joint statement condemning the attack and expressing their "shock" at the police's discovery of evidence pointing to the previous alleged murder.
They called on the courts to act swiftly and firmly in cases of violence against women and urged the city's residents to help battle such crimes by reporting them to police.
The city called a rally for Wednesday against such violence.
Dozens of people, mainly friends of the Nigerian woman found badly injured inside Aguilar's gym, demonstrated in Bilbao on Tuesday in support of the victim.
"We ask for justice. Enough violence against women," read one handwritten sign held up by a demonstrator.
Police said the woman had suffered a "very violent assault". According to media reports, she suffered a severe beating or mutilation.
© 2013 AFP