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'Catman' murder trial halted after defendant makes meowing sound 55 times during Argentinian hearing


An alleged double murderer who has been dubbed as the ‘Catman’ was removed from a court room in Argentina after he made a meowing sound 55 times during the hearing.

Israeli Nicolas Gil Pereg, who is charged with killing his mother and aunt, was taken down to the cells after answering questions from the judge by repeating ‘Meow, meow’ at the start of his trial in the Argentinian city of Mendoza.

Pereg, who once changed his name to Floda Reltih or Adolf Hitler backwards, also used the cat noise to answer when he was asked his name and ID number.   

Armed police took the dishevelled looking suspect away after he refused repeated requests to remain silent during the proceedings on Tuesday.

Former soldier Pereg, 40, is accused of killing his mother Pyrhia Saroussy, 63, and aunt Lily Pereg, 54, in January 2019 and hiding their bodies on land at his run-down home in Guaymallen on the outskirts of Mendoza. 

Israeli Nicolas Gil Pereg, who is charged with killing his mother and aunt, was taken down to the cells after answering questions from the judge by repeating 'Meow, meow' at the start of his trial in the Argentinian city of Mendoza

Israeli Nicolas Gil Pereg, who is charged with killing his mother and aunt, was taken down to the cells after answering questions from the judge by repeating ‘Meow, meow’ at the start of his trial in the Argentinian city of Mendoza

Armed police took Pereg away after he refused repeated requests to remain silent during the proceedings

Armed police took Pereg away after he refused repeated requests to remain silent during the proceedings

Former soldier Pereg, 40, is accused of killing his mother Pyrhia Saroussy, 63, (right) and aunt Lily Pereg, 54, (left) in January 2019 and hiding their bodies on land at his run-down home in Guaymallen on the outskirts of Mendoza

Former soldier Pereg, 40, is accused of killing his mother Pyrhia Saroussy, 63, (right) and aunt Lily Pereg, 54, (left) in January 2019 and hiding their bodies on land at his run-down home in Guaymallen on the outskirts of Mendoza

The bodies of Saroussy and Pereg were found hidden under rocks and earth more than four feet below ground. 

During the beginning of his trial Pereg, who is facing life in prison if convicted, pronounced the word ‘Meow’ 55 times from the moment he entered the courtroom to the time he was removed, local reports said. 

In a video released by the Mendoza district attorney’s office, 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.

Prosecutor Fernando Guzzo, rubbishing defence claims Pereg is mentally unfit to be tried, told the jury of six men in his opening address to the court on Tuesday: ‘I ask jury members not to let themselves be fooled and bark more loudly.’

Pereg’s defence lawyer Maximiliano Legrand begged them to ‘behave like humans and not bark like dogs’ as the prosecutor was suggesting.

Pereg once changed his name to Floda Reltih or Adolf Hitler backwards

Pereg once changed his name to Floda Reltih or Adolf Hitler backwards

Gilad Perez was arrested on suspicion of his mother and aunt's murder on January 26 2019

Gilad Perez was arrested on suspicion of his mother and aunt’s murder on January 26 2019

It is not the first time Pereg, said by his defence team to suffer from a medical disorder called lycanthropy which makes him believe he is an animal, has been removed from a court room in Argentina for making cat noises.

He displayed the same behaviour in February 2020 during a hearing organised by his defence team to try to spare him a remand in prison and get him admitted to hospital.

A senior prosecutor said at the time he saw no reason why he should be sent to a hospital psychiatric wing.

As well as meowing repeatedly like a cat, Pereg is also said to have stripped his clothes off and even urinated in front of magistrates during previous court hearings.

Police work in the lot next to the home of Gilad Pereg where the bodies of his mother and aunt were found in Mendoza, Argentina in 2019

Police work in the lot next to the home of Gilad Pereg where the bodies of his mother and aunt were found in Mendoza, Argentina in 2019

Pereg’s mother and aunt travelled from Israel to visit him and disappeared shortly after reaching Mendoza on January 11 2019 and going to Pereg’s home which he shared with 37 cats and four dogs to spend the day.

The search for them, which began after the alleged killer himself reported them missing and claimed they could have crossed the border to Chile, lasted more than a fortnight.

Post-mortems concluded Pereg’s aunt had been shot and his mum had been beaten to death.



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