Brazilian charged in Australia killing appears in court

December 17, 2018

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A Brazilian man charged in Australia with killing his ex-girlfriend eight months ago has told a Brazilian judge that he returned home right after her body was found only because of his father’s health problems.

Mario Marcelo Santoro is alleged to have strangled Cecilia Haddad, a fellow Brazilian whose body was discovered April 29 in Australia’s Lane Cove River. He denies killing her.

Australian investigators grew suspicious when they noticed how soon after the body was found that Santoro returned to Brazil.

Santoro said at a hearing Monday that he returned to Rio in April instead of May as originally planned because his father was ill.

The judge is deciding whether Brazilian prosecutors can try Santoro in Brazil.

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