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Ex-Guatemalan cop on trial in Austria for murder

September 10, 2013

VIENNA (AP) — An Austrian court has begun trying a former senior Guatemalan police official charged with murder in connection with the shooting deaths of seven prison inmates in his homeland.

Javier Figureoa, the ex-deputy chief of a division of Guatemala’s national police, faces charges from events going back to Sept. 25, 2006. Police and soldiers back then retook the Pavon prison farm from inmates who ran a crack cocaine lab inside and rented out plush homes on the grounds to fellow prisoners.

Seven inmates were killed and authorities then said they died after putting up a fight.

Figueroa has pleaded innocent. He testified on the trial’s opening day Monday.

Figueroa has been in investigative custody since 2011 in connection with the deaths. He had been living in Upper Austria province since 2007.