Countdown to the start of the trial against the two defendants, Constantin Dumitru (48 years old) and Priscila Lara Guevara (29), for the theft of the 45 exclusive bottles from the luxurious cellar of the Atrio de Cáceres hotel, which occurred on October 27, 2021. This Wednesday, at 3:30 p.m., and surrounded by great expectation (there are accredited international media and even a production company that wants to shoot a documentary), the parties are summoned to check if they reach a compliance agreement and avoid trial, a question that in principle is ruled out, except for last-minute surprises on the part of the prosecution and the defense of those involved.
If, as expected, there is no agreement, the hearing will begin, although in the first session tomorrow only the preliminary questions will be established, always with the presence of the accused couple, who will be transferred to the Provincial Court of Cáceres from the Penitentiary Center of this town, where they remain since last August. However, for the statements before the judge of both defendants and the 23 witnesses proposed, it will be necessary to wait longer, presumably already for the month of March, where four expert witnesses are also expected to testify.
The lawyer for the defendants, Sylvia Córdoba, has told EL MUNDO that "we are going to appear tomorrow to listen to the Prosecutor's Office and convey to our clients their position in case they are interested in reaching an agreement but it is very difficult because until now they have denied their involvement in the events so I don't think they're going to acknowledge their involvement." The lawyer will take advantage of her visit to this previous session to visit her clients in the Cáceres prison itself before Wednesday's session.
The Prosecutor's Office asks for them four and a half years in prison and 1.6 million euros in compensation, according to the indictment presented last November. In said letter it is considered that Constantin Dumitru and Priscila Lara Guevara were co-authors of "a crime of robbery with force in a public establishment that is especially serious due to the high amount of stolen objects." The amount that is claimed from them is the price at which the bottles have been appraised, although it must be taken into account that this amount, without finally being established in the judgment, would not be destined for the hotel owners but for the insurer , since it already compensated the owners, Toño Pérez and José Polo, for the missing bottles that have not yet been located.
In his first statements to the Police as soon as he was arrested, Constantin Dumitru -considered the brains of the couple- confessed to the Police that he sold a bottle to contacts he had in Russia, although he has subsequently denied any involvement in the events.
The Prosecutor's letter, on the other hand, emphasizes that "the couple, by mutual agreement and guided by the profit motive, stayed at the hotel on October 26 with the intention of accessing the winery and obtaining high-quality wines." value, among them the bottle of Chateau d'Yquem valued at 350,000 euros".
The private prosecution, represented by the insured company, on the other hand, raises the request for a penalty for each of them to five years in prison and figures the compensation at 800,000 euros, which is what they paid to the owners of the winery, according to their signed in the contract. Specifically, the insured is Reale Seguros, in an agreement established the year of the theft through the mediation of the company Sánchez Castañón SL. de Zafra (Badajoz), which belongs to the Cojebro business group.
The other amount requested by the Prosecutor's Office, double (1,648,500 euros), is the value of the bottles for sale to customers, as shown in the establishment's menu, a 300-page compilation that contains some of the most popular wines. valued in the world and which includes more than 4,100 references. The defendants' defense has always considered that the price of the bottles is "inflated".
The Criminal Court number 8 of Madrid already sentenced Constantín Gabriel Dumitru -the alleged co-author of the theft of 45 bottles of wine- to one year in prison last November for a theft committed in 2019 at the Laviana gourmet store, in the Salamanca district of Madrid, from which he took a bottle of whiskey valued at 5,250 euros. The sentence for the 48-year-old Romanian-Dutch citizen includes compensation of 3,720 euros to the store and another 1,529 to the insurer, amounts to be added to the price of the bottle.
Constantín Gabriel Dumitru (Romanian-Dutch) and the Mexican Priscila Lara Guevera -former Miss Earth of the State of Mexico in 2016- were arrested last July at the border between Montenegro and Croatia, where they planned to spend a vacation, after that they fled after the robbery and their whereabouts were unknown for several months. The lawyer Sylvia Córdoba has repeatedly requested provisional release for her clients, especially for Priscila Lara, who has had several episodes of anxiety and depression in prison.
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