Five South Koreans have gone on trial in a German court, charged with murder over the death of a relative in an exorcism ritual at a Frankfurt hotel last year.

The defendants in the trial that opened Monday at the Frankfurt state court range in age between16 and 44. They include the son of the 41-year-old woman who died, news agency dpa reported.

Police discovered the victim's body in a hotel room in December after the suspects called a priest when it became apparent the victim had died. Prosecutors have said that they wanted to expel a "demon" they believed had possessed the woman, and that she died of asphyxiation as a result of "massive chest compression and violence to her neck."

The trial is scheduled to last until mid-January.