A Belgian woman went on trial on Friday charged with the murder of a fellow skydiver and love rival who plunged to her death after her parachute was sabotaged.
Els Van Doren, 38, smashed into a back garden from some 4,500 meters (14,764 feet) in November 2006 because both her main and reserve chutes failed to open after she jumped from a plane with defendant, Els Clottemans, 26, their lover, Dutchman Marcel Somers, and another man.
Clottemans, an elementary school teacher, is accused of cutting through key parts of the parachute system the weekend before the jump to remove her rival and have Somers for herself.
Lawyers for Clottemans, who herself only spoke in court to confirm basic details such as her date of birth and profession, issued a statement expressing their firm belief that their client did not kill a woman she regarded as a friend.
In a red top and black trousers a
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