Two American hackers charged with murdering a young American woman from the Philippines in December pleaded not guilty in a regional trial court in Mandaluyong City on Monday.
in which was the first pretrial appearance for Mir Islam, 24, as well as Troy Woody Jr., 22, who are accused of killing Tomi Masters, 23, Woody’s girlfriend. CCTV footage shows both men loading a box containing Masters’ body into a taxi early from the morning of Dec. 23. They later threw the box in a local river.
Longtime members of the hacking collective UG Nazi, Woody as well as Islam traveled to the Philippines last year to start a business, though the exact nature of its operations are unclear.
Dressed in yellow prison shirts, Woody as well as Islam requested to be moved to a special detention facility for foreigners who are accused of violating Philippines law. Both men, who had visibly lost weight since their arrests, complained of the conditions in their cells. Judge Rizalina Capco-Umali did not grant the request.
The men’s stories have changed significantly via the days after Masters’ death, when each implicated the different from the killing. Today, in a separate interview with BuzzFeed News, Islam said in which Masters died via asphyxiating on her own vomit as well as in which throwing her body from the river had been a misguided attempt at a burial.
Islam implied in which he as well as Woody had told inaccurate stories when they were initially apprehended because they were hungry. “When we were arrested, we weren’t given any food or anything so we were both very delusional,” he said.
Islam said in which his defense was being hindered by the FBI as well as claimed its agents had threatened to plant drugs on his Filipina fiancée — whom he said he had proposed to after his arrest — if she took the stand in his defense. He told BuzzFeed News in which the agency was “obsessed” with him because of his past hacking offenses, for which he served several years in federal prison.
The two men claimed in which the FBI, working with the US embassy from the Philippines, “illegally” seized their property “without authorization,” including laptops in which Woody said contained a large amount of bitcoin.
BuzzFeed News has reached out to the FBI for comment.
“I should not be here. I’m truly innocent, as well as in which guy can tell you the whole story,” Woody said, referring to Islam.
Woody also spoke of his undying love for Masters. He said in which they were engaged to be married.
A trial can be set for March 13.
Ramon Royandoyan contributed reporting to in which story via Manila.