Two men, accused of the frenzied killings of two French research students at a house in south London, appeared in court today to deny their murder.

Biochemistry Students Gabriel Ferez and Laurent Bonomo, both 23, were found dead in June at their blood-spattered home in New Cross, southeast London, shocking people on both sides of the Channel.

Both had been tied up, Bonomo was stabbed nearly 200 times and his friend received almost 50 knife wounds before the house was set alight. Police said the murders were amongst the most gruesome they had ever seen.

Dano Sonnex, 23, and Nigel Farmer, 33, appeared via videolink at London's Old Bailey court to plead not guilty to their killings, the Press Association reported.

They also denied charges of false imprisonment, burglary and arson.

The students, who were in the second year of masters degrees at the Ecole Polytechnique de Clermont Ferrand in central France, were in London for a three-month internship at Imperial College London.

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