US & Canada

Chandra Levy murder retrial granted by US judge

Chandra Levy memorial Image copyright AP
Image caption Levy's case gripped the attention of the US media at the time

A US judge has formally granted a retrial in the case of murdered intern Chandra Levy, who disappeared in 2001.

Ingmar Guandique, an El Salvadorean immigrant convicted of killing Levy in 2010, will get a retrial.

Judge Gerald Fisher granted a motion for the new trial on Thursday, after his lawyers said a key witness gave misleading testimony.

The case claimed the career of Democratic politician Gary Condit, to whom Ms Levy was romantically linked.

Ms Levy, 24, had just finished an internship with the US Bureau of Prisons when she disappeared.

Her body was found in Rock Creek Park in Washington DC more than a year later.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Ingmar Guandique's lawyers had been pushing for a retrial due to what they call misleading testimony

Prosecutors told Judge Fisher that the "passage of time and the unique circumstances of this case" made it hard to oppose a new trial.

Lawyers for Guandique and the prosecutors will appear in court next week, when a new trial date will be set.

In 2013, prosecutors requested a new trial because they had issues with a key witness, Armando Morales, Guandique's one-time cellmate.

Guandique's lawyers have been arguing that the Morales testimony was flawed because the prosecutors did not reveal that he had cooperated with them in previous cases.

During the trial, Morales said he did not know how to confide in law enforcement even though he had in the past.

Prosecutors put a lot of confidence in that testimony because there was no physical evidence that connected Guandique to Levy's death.

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