'Cat Man' on trial for murder in Argentina expelled from courtroom for meowing

BUENOS AIRES, Oct 26 (Reuters) - A man accused of killing his mother and aunt in Argentina, dubbed 'cat man' by local media, was thrown out of a courtroom in the city of Mendoza on Tuesday after refusing the judge's order to stop meowing like a feline during his trial.

Nicolas Gil Pereg, who is originally from Israel, is accused of a double homicide of his relatives, who were visiting from Israel in 2019.

Gil Pereg had previously asked the judge if he could have his pet cats with him in the psychiatric hospital where he is being held during his trial. In a video released by the Mendoza district attorney's office, Gil Pereg begins to imitate the meow of a cat in court while refusing to answer questions from prosecutors.

"Mr. Gil Pereg, before the entry of the jury I warned you that if you wanted to remain in the courtroom, you should do so in silence, with respect and decorum," Judge Laura Guajardo says before ejecting him.

Local media said his lawyers are expected to ask the court to declare him mentally incompetent to face criminal charges.

(Reporting by Horacio Soria, writing by Hugh Bronstein, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)

((hugh.bronstein@thomsonreuters.com; 5411 4318 0655; Reuters Messaging: hugh.bronstein.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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