Beauty queen on trial for ordering Canadian husband killed

The trial of a Puerto Rican former beauty queen accused of hiring a hitman to kill her millionaire Canadian husband got underway in the US territory's capital San Juan on Tuesday after she spent several years in Europe as a fugitive.

Jury selection began Tuesday and could take several days.

Aurea Vazquez Rijos stands accused of hiring hitman Alex Pabon Colon to kill Adam Anhang Uster in September 2005, according to the indictment from the prosecutor's office which dates back to 2008.

The defendant's objective was to "obtain financial gain" with the death of Anhang, prosecutors say.

She had signed a prenuptial agreement six months before ordering the murder of Anhang, a Canadian real estate developer with properties in Puerto Rico, the indictment added.

According to court documents, at the time of his death he had a net worth of $24m.

"Shortly after getting married, Anhang Uster began to explore the possibility of divorcing the accused," the prosecution said.

Under the terms of their agreement, she would receive much more as a widow than if she divorced.

The ex-beauty queen allegedly summoned Anhang to Old San Juan for dinner to make it easier for the hitman to do his job.

The hitman later confessed to killing Anhang on September 22, 2005, when the couple left the restaurant.

He also hit the accused, so that the attack would look like a robbery. She fled to Italy before the prosecution issued the first indictment of 2008.

Finally, she was arrested in Spain in 2013 and then extradited. She has claimed she is innocent.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter