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Five on trial over woman's 'exorcism' death in Germany

Five South Koreans are on trial in Germany over the alleged murder of a relative during an exorcism ritual.

The defendants at Frankfurt state court are aged between 16 and 44, and include the son of the 41-year-old woman who died.

Police discovered the woman's body in a Frankfurt hotel room last December after the suspects called a priest when it became apparent she had died.

Prosecutors claim the defendants wanted to expel a "demon" they believed had possessed the woman, and that she died of asphyxiation as a result of "massive chest compression and violence to her neck".

The trial is scheduled to last until mid-January.

The defendants did not immediately make any statements as the trial opened. In Germany, defendants do not enter formal pleas in trials.

The five accused are believed to practice a form of Christianity with shamanist influences. They arrived in Frankfurt about six weeks before the killing and planned to set up an import-export business, according to reports.

AP

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