Incestuous pastor jailed for life for killing kin

BRUSSELS (AP) - A pastor convicted of killing half a dozen family members, then dissolving their bodies in chemical drain cleaner, was sentenced to life in prison by a jury yesterday.

One of his daughters received a 21-year sentence.

Andras Pandy, 74, was found guilty yesterday of murdering six family members and having raped one of them, a daughter. He also was convicted of raping two other daughters.

His daughter Agnes Pandy, 44, was convicted of murdering five relatives and attempting to murder a sixth.

Prosecutors sought a 29-year sentence for her, but her lawyers pushed for leniency, saying Agnes had been under the ``overwhelming irresistible spell" of a father who was raping her as he coerced her into collaborating in killing her mother and siblings.

"I had no way out. I was completely in his grip," Agnes Pandy said in her closing statement.

Andras Pandy dismissed the proceedings as a "witch trial" against him.

For two weeks testimony centred on such grisly questions as whether the defendants could be convicted without evidence of a dead body and how long it takes a particular brand of drain cleaner to eat away a corpse.

Prosecutors say the Hungarian-born pastor raped his daughters and stepdaughters, then turned to murder between 1986 and 1989 to cover up the incest after one stepdaughter, then 20, became pregnant. That stepdaughter fled to Canada and Hungary, with her son, now 16.

Pandy told the jury his two wives, two sons and two stepdaughters were still alive and he is "in contact with them through angels," even though no one has heard from them for years.

Agnes Pandy was instrumental in bringing the case against her father. She admitted to being an accomplice in five of the six murders, detailing how victims were cut up and their body parts dumped in a chemical dissolver. Medical experts stunned the jury last week with photographic evidence of how drain cleaner works on dissolving a body.