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Polish crime author charged with killing he penned

Crime author charged with killing he penned

A dead body is fished out of river bearing the harrowing marks of torture - limbs distended, hands bound and tied to a noose around the neck.

Police investigators are left without any clue as to how the well-liked and successful professional came to such a grisly end.

It sounds like the perfect plot for a crime novel - well that's because it is.

Except the twist in the tale is that the crime actually happened in Poland and the best-selling author is now accused of the murder.

In an intriguing blur between fact and fiction which has sparked a frenzy of media excitement in Poland, best-selling author Krystian Bala is accused of carrying out the murder he plotted in his blockbuster,Amok.

Chief Inspector Jack Wroblewski received an anonymous call five years after the body was found in December,2000, telling him to read Amok, published in 2003.

Inspector Wroblewski read the novel - a tale of how a group of intellectuals delve into sex, drugs and torture - in amazement several times, believing similarities between fact and 'fiction' were striking.

The dead man, known only as Dariusz J, was found near a weir on the river Oder in with his hands bound behind his back and round his wrists and neck.

The victim in Amok was tied up in a similar fashion and his body was pulled from a river in the city of Wroclaw.

The book contains intimate details of the killing that police say only they could have known - or the killer.

But Bala denies having inside knowledge of the killing.

He says he read press reports and claims he has been framed to cover up for a 'bungled' police investigation.

Before the trial, he said: "Amok is a fictional work. Although the language and situations are strong it is an intellectual-work."

Mr Wroblewski accuses Bala of selling Dariusz J's mobile phone on the internet four days after his death.

Mr Wroblewski also claims Bala sent the TV programme 997, the Polish equivalent of Crimewatch, emails from diving trips in South Korea and Indonesia in which he described the murder as 'the perfect crime'.

Speaking in court, his ex-wife described Bala as 'controlling' and said that was the reason she had divorced him.

Bala's lawyer has said the evidence against him is thin, while prosecutors have demanded a 25-year sentence.

The case continues.