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Lil Kim's ex goes on trial for murder and racketeering charges

The murder trial of rapper Lil' Kim's ex-boyfriend has begun in a Brooklyn, New York court after a judge declared he was "mentally competent" to face the charges.

Damion Hardy, aka World, was originally arrested in 2004 on suspicion of leading a violent drug gang allegedly linked to a series of slayings in the Big Apple.

In 2008, he was slapped with further counts for racketeering conspiracy, narcotics trafficking conspiracy, use of firearms and six murders in aide of racketeering, including the 2003 assassination of a former bodyguard for then-boxing champion Mike Tyson.

Hardy was forcibly medicated while behind bars after he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and he was subsequently ruled competent to stand trial.

The case got underway on Wednesday (01Apr15), when Judge Frederic Block of the Federal District Court in Brooklyn heard opening arguments from prosecutor Rena Paul.

Paul told the court, "He handed out death sentences with a simple line: 'He has to go'. World's order was to kill on sight."

Hardy, who previously shared a home with Lil' Kim in New Jersey, has denied the allegations.

He has reportedly been attempting to reach out to his rapper ex and fellow hip-hop star Foxy Brown for financial help so he can hire top criminal defense attorney Benjamin Brafman, according to the New York Daily News.

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