Four held in manga-inspired Belgian murder: prosecutors

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Police arrested and charged four young men for the gory manga-inspired murder of a man three years ago, whose sliced remains were found in a Brussels park, Belgian prosecutors said Monday.

After a three-year search for the perpetrators of the gruesome killing, four men aged between 22 and 24 were arrested Friday in Brussels, three charged with the murder and one for failing to assist a person in danger, said a spokesman for Brussels prosecutors, Jean-Marc Meilleur.

Three of the suspects confessed but one denied involvement, he added.

"We know they're all manga fans," said Meilleur, adding that none of the suspects had a criminal record.

On September 28, 2007, two thighs and a lower abdomen were found by a passer-by between two park benches in the Duden park in a southwest Bruxelles suburb.

Two sheets of paper nearby were scrawled with a message in Japanese, but written in Latin letters, saying "Watashi Wa Kira Dess," which means "I am Kira," the hero of the Japanese manga "Death Note."

The comic book tells the story of justice-seeking Kira who eliminates criminals by writing their name on a list, which leads to their death.

A little further away from the victim's remains, police found a Japanese character drawn in the grass with grains of rice.

The suspects, said Meilleur, "explained that the victim, whose name they did not know, lived with them. An argument broke out and they asked him to leave but he didn't want to. There was a fight, which was the cause of death."

© 2010 AFP

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