Trial for murder of French tourists starts in Argentina

25th March 2014, Comments 0 comments

Three men went on trial here Tuesday for the rape and murder of two young French tourists whose bodies were found in a scenic park overlooking the city.

About 200 people are to testify before three judges in the trial, which is expected to conclude May 16.

The three accused -- Gustavo Lasi, 27, Daniel Vilte, 28, and Santos Vera, 34 -- were led into the courtroom in handcuffs to hear the charges against them.

The victims' parents were expected to address the court after the charges were read.

Cassandre Bouvier, 29, and Houria Moumni, 24, were last seen as they entered La Quebrada de San Lorenzo park overlooking Salta in the afternoon of July 15, 2011.

They were found shot to death July 29, their partially clad bodies dumped near a scenic overlook in the park.

Lasi, a former city employee and occasional guide at the park, is the primary suspect.

DNA tests linked him to the women's rape.

He has acknowledged sexually assaulting them, but insists he did not kill them, blaming the other two suspects for their murders.

Vilte, a bricklayer, and Vera, a groundskeeper, deny any connection to the crime.

The three have been in preventative detention since 2011.

© 2014 AFP

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