“My intention from the beginning was to protect her”

By Paula Martins, in Algarve, Crime · 11-03-2021 16:02:00 · 0 Comments

In the third session of the trial, one of the defendants Maria Malveiro, suspected of murdering 21-year-old Diogo Gonçalves, changed her initial testimony and now blames her ex-girlfriend for the crimes, saying that she lied to protect Mariana Fonseca.

At the Court of Portimão, on 9 March, Maria Malveiro, claimed that the responsibility for the death of Diogo Gonçalves, the dismemberment of the body and other crimes associated with the case were down to Mariana Fonseca. She stated instead that she was simply fulfilling orders from her ex-girlfriend, including drawing money from his card and administering diazepam (medicine used to make the victim unconscious) that she mixed into an orange juice which she gave to Diogo to drink.

“From the beginning, I always tried to protect Mariana, I loved her very much, during the first interrogation I put her before everything else”, she said, while accusing her ex-girlfriend of being jealous and of planning the crime with the intention of stealing the compensation that Diogo received from the death of his mother in the previous year.

According to the defendant, who spoke without Mariana in the courtroom, when she told Mariana about the compensation, she started to plan a theft: “She wanted to get hold of his money, started to fill my head with that thought and I let myself go with what she said. She brought ampoules of diazepam from the hospital where she worked and told me to mix it with some liquid and I mixed it with orange juice, she said that he would fall asleep and then it would be easier to take his card”, and so she did.

“However the effect of the drug was not immediate, he did not fall asleep, while this was happening she was always sending messages from the car, asking if he had already fallen asleep, I went to the car and she told me to choke him into falling asleep”, she said, but instead of falling asleep he stopped breathing.

Then, she told Mariana to resuscitate him, because she was a nurse, which she did, according to Maria. Then Maria told the Court that she left the room and when she returned, Mariana had her arms around him and said that this way he would no longer put himself between the couple and “she said she could no longer feel his pulse”.

With that, Maria accused Mariana of most of the crimes, blaming her for orchestrating the crime of theft, of ending Diogo’s life, which although it was not planned, she supposedly did out of jealousy. She also accused Mariana of disposing of Diogo’s body, completely eliminating her initial testimony, in which she said that Mariana only watched most of the crimes, without having participated in them directly.

In addition, Maria said that Mariana left with the body in the car and returned without him, so according to this new version of events, it was Mariana who dismembered the body and disposed of it.

The hearing also heard testimony from a selection of witnesses, one of them the medical examiner, Teresa Costa, who explained that the quantities of diazepam found in Diogo’s blood were much smaller than what was expected from three ampoules ingested orally, which can indicate that either Diogo did not take this amount of medicine, or took it many hours before death so that much of it has already been excreted.

The trial that was due to end on 9 March was suspended for five days by the Court of Portimão, for the criminal defense lawyer to consult a social report of the case. The decision was taken by the panel of judges at the beginning of the afternoon session, when granting a request presented by Tânia Reis, lawyer of the defendant Maria Malveiro, who asked for “at least five days to consult the document”.

Maria Malveiro, 20 years old and Mariana Fonseca, 24, are accused of the crimes of qualified homicide, desecration of a corpse, two crimes of illegitimate access, one of computer fraud, simple theft and use of a vehicle.

Keep up with the case with regular updates on theportugalnews.com.




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