Prosecutor calls for 20 year jail sentences in Algarve murder trial

By Paula Martins, in Algarve, Crime · 16-04-2021 01:00:00 · 0 Comments

The trial of the two women, accused of the murder, dismemberment and disposal of a body in Sagres and Pego do Inferno, has ended with the Prosecutor asking for over 20 years in prison for both.

On 13 April, in Portimão Court, the prosecutor Miguel Teixeira argued that: “There is no doubt that they are guilty” and added that Maria Malveiro (20) and Mariana Fonseca(24) planned the death of Diogo Gonçalves as a means to take the compensation of €70,000 that he received following the death of his mother.

For this reason, he believes that they “must be severely punished with a penalty of over 20 years in prison and very close to the maximum penalty provided for in the Penal Code (25)”.

However, the defence is against this suggestion and has argued about the lack of evidence in the case. “Our system is not like the English or the American system in which a confession is enough. We need much more. We need evidence that allows us, at least, to be able to be close to what’s happened”, said João Grade, lawyer of Mariana Fonseca.

Regarding the dismemberment of the body, Mariana’s lawyer alleged that there is no single piece of evidence that proves the murder was undertaken in the garage of the flat where they lived (as the defendants confessed to in their first version of events) and added that this situation is impossible to believe because the garage is shared by more apartments.

Since the beginning of the process the defendants, ex-girlfriends, have already changed their versions of the events and since they ended their romantic relationship they now blame each other for the crimes.

In turn, Tânia Reis, Maria’s lawyer, has also criticised the way the investigation was conducted after seeing her request to investigate new facts about the possibility of a third person being involved being denied.

“We have male DNA that we don’t know who it belongs to. We have eight cigarette butts that we don’t know who they belong to. There was no evidence of who did what in the desecration of the corpse or in the homicide”, argued the lawyer, asking for absolution.

At the door of the court, João Grade, was speaking to the journalists, accused the Portuguese Criminal Police of not doing their job and stopping the investigation when the accused confessed as is done in Anglo-Saxon countries, something that must not happen in the Portuguese system, according to João Grade.

João Grade also said that, if it is not favourable to his client, he will appeal the decision that will be read on 27 April at 1.30 pm at the Court of Portimão.

Maria Malveiro and Mariana Fonseca 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.



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