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Body-in-bag case comes to court

Singapore (Reuter) - A Briton charged with a murder involving a dismembered body - and suspected of links to similar cases in Thailand, San Francisco and Mexico City - was due to appear in a Singapore court today.

John Martin Scripps, 35, who absconded from Britain after being given parole from prison in 1990, was arrested on 19 March and charged with murdering a South African tourist, Gerard Lowe, 32.

The murder inquiry began when two plastic bags containing legs and a torso were found in the sea. Lowe's passport and credit card were allegedly recovered from Mr Scripps, as were articles belonging to two Canadians murdered in the Thai resort of Phuket.

Since his arrest, Mr Scripps has been under psychiatric observation in a prison hospital.