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TORSO BOY POISONED BY A BEAN.

Byline: LORRAINE FISHER

A BOY whose torso was found in the River Thames had been poisoned by a toxic calabar bean used in West African witchcraft rituals, police said yesterday.

Officers revealed they were a "step closer" to bringing charges over the murder of the youngster, named Adam, from Nigeria.

Botanists at Kew Gardens in South West London identified the calabar bean which was found in Adam's intestine. Police believe it may have been used to subdue the boy, aged between four and six, before he was killed.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "The bean is known to be used for witchcraft purposes.

"It can be fatal if consumed and causes paralysis in small doses."

A file is being prepared for the CPS, raising the possibility of extraditing suspects from more than one country.

Met police Commander Andy Baker said: "We are very optimistic."

Adam's headless and limbless body was found near Tower Bridge in 2001.

Police suspect he was the victim of a ritual killing after being brought to England alive.

Attorney General Lord Goldsmith QC may lead the prosecution if the case comes to court - the first time he will have done so.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 17, 2003
Words:195
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