A pair of Catholic priests in Colombia reportedly hired hitmen to kill them after one was diagnosed with AIDS.

The Daily Mail reports the case of Rafael Reatiga, 35, and Richard Piffano, 37, Roman Catholic priests in Bogota.

When the men were discovered shot dead last year, they were thought to have been the victims of a robbery.

But prosecutor Ana Patricia Larrota said this week the priests had hired hitmen to kill them.

They gave their killers the equivalent of more than £5,000, it was alleged. Piffano took about £2,300 out of his bank the day he was shot.

Two of the hitmen alleged to have shot the priests appeared before a judge in the South American country this week. Another two are still at large.

Martina Gonzales, the chief investigator in the case said Reatiga had made preparations for his death after being diagnosed with AIDS. He reportedly was already suffering with syphilis.

Investigators found the alleged killers after going through the calls on the mobile phone of one of the priests, which was found on a gang member as he was being searched last year.