Justice The defense of those accused of the Atrio robbery unsuccessfully raises a sentence of less than two years to avoid jail

No surprises at the start of the trial for the theft of the film of the luxurious bottles - still unaccounted for - from the Atrio de Cáceres restaurant, committed in October 2027

Justice The defense of those accused of the Atrio robbery unsuccessfully raises a sentence of less than two years to avoid jail

No surprises at the start of the trial for the theft of the film of the luxurious bottles - still unaccounted for - from the Atrio de Cáceres restaurant, committed in October 2027. As is taken for granted, there was no agreement in the preliminary hearing between the parties Regarding the prison sentences that could be established for the defendants, Constantin Dumitru (48 years old, of Romanian-Dutch nationality) and Priscila Lara Guevara (29 years old, Mexican). Both will have the possibility of declaring in the dock of the accused on February 27 or March 1, dates of the two sessions that the Provincial Court of the capital of Cáceres has established for a case of enormous media significance. The defendants were transferred this morning to the courts in police vans from the prison in Cáceres, where they have been held in pretrial detention since last August. Both have been present in the room.

During the session, the private prosecution, the Prosecutor's Office and the defense maintained their initial theses without moving an inch in their position. The first asks for five years in prison and 800,000 euros in compensation; the Public Ministry four and a half (and 1.6 million), and Sylvia Córdoba, the defense lawyer, would have accepted an agreement if the sentence had been less than two to avoid prison, considering that in any case -her clients continue to consider themselves "innocent" - his clients must be tried for the crime of theft, which has a maximum penalty of three years in prison. On the other hand, the rest of the parties involved consider that it was a "crime of robbery with force in a public establishment that is especially serious due to the high amount of material stolen." The maximum sentence is six years.

So there will be a trial and, therefore, there will be statements from up to 23 witnesses and four experts. The difference between the theses of all the parties, including the judge, Joaquín González Casso, became clear during this preliminary hearing, because they did not agree on any issue. Namely: the defense lawyer requested the total annulment of the proceedings that have been carried out against her clients (including wiretapping) but both the Prosecutor's Office -represented by Carmen Barquilla- and the magistrate consider that both the Police and the court orders themselves effect these previous months have been taken with a legal principle of "proportionality". In addition, according to what the lawyer for the private prosecution, Rafael Mateos, who represents the insurer, expelled, the crime committed reflects "a high degree of specialization", which is an "aggravating factor" in the case.

The defense expressed its disagreement with the decisions made by the judge by denying all their requests. "Disproportionate and invasive procedures have been carried out on the fundamental rights of my clients," complained the lawyer, who alluded, among other examples, to the procedures for geolocation of the mobile phones of her two clients and the use of the content of the same, which supposes, in his opinion, a "clear" violation of the right to privacy.

There were more discrepancies. Sylvia Córdoba wanted her clients to give their last statements, once the rest of the witnesses had been heard. However, the judge denied it, and they will be those who have the possibility of being the first under the criteria that includes, according to the magistrate's thesis, "the Law of Criminal Procedure." In any case, as he warned, "they have the right to the last word if they so wish." Everything seems to indicate that they will accept their right not to declare. "They will probably continue in silence, especially when we have been denied that they can testify at the end," Sylvia Córdoba stressed to the journalists at the end of the session.

In addition, this lawyer also unsuccessfully proposed that it be proven if the defendant, Priscila Lara, former Miss Earth from the State of Mexico, has a residence permit in the Netherlands, "which is not true," according to the defense attorney. The judge considers that it is not a relevant issue for the case because no extradition order is being dealt with at this procedural moment. He also raised another issue regarding the fact that his client has no police record (as apparently stated in the investigation of the case) and was not arrested in a case in which his partner, Constantin Dumitru, was involved in the Salamanca neighborhood of Madrid. , for another robbery in a local of a valuable bottle, and for which he was sentenced to one year in prison.

In turn, Córdoba has requested that it be proven if his clients were cocaine users, which could be a mitigation in the case. Regarding drug addiction, the judge recalled at the hearing that this evidence was not presented in the defense brief, so it is now "untimely."

The parties did not even agree on the dates of the oral hearing. The magistrate explained that the agenda of trials in the Cáceres Court is very busy and only had free (unless the trial was delayed for another month) the two days indicated, February 27 and March 1. The problem is that there is a day in between and the defense attorney opposed it because of the difficulty that this entails for the development of the trial.

Meanwhile, the lawyer for the Reale insurance company, Rafael Montes, who reached an agreement with the owners of Atrio (Toño Pérez and José Polo) after the theft of the bottles and compensated the owners with almost 800,000 euros, has presented a new evidence on the expert opinion of the value of the bottles, which coincides with the amount indemnified. The defense lawyer has opposed its admission as evidence because it is "untimely" and "surprising", but the court has admitted the expert evidence of the price of the bottles. According to Atrio's letter, in its reference to the sale price to the customers of the restaurant and the winery, where the robbery took place at dawn, the 45 bottles of wine were valued at more than 1.64 million euros, including the famous and historic Chateau d'YQuem 1806, valued at 350,000 euros.

For the defense lawyer, the expert report on the value of the bottles "has no date and is signed by a man we do not know who he is", for which she has considered that "my defendants are worried and sad given the harshness of the judge for rejecting everything that we have requested, at the same time that he has accepted the requests of the prosecution", he lamented at the end of the hearing. For her, the trial "has started hard" for the defendants, who are "scared", she has described it.

The defense lawyer has recalled that the defendants continue without declaring or giving their version of the facts about what happened in the restaurant in Cáceres. In any case, it has emerged that in his first statement before the Spanish Police after being arrested and extradited from Croatia, Constantin Dumitru, considered the mastermind of the coup according to the police thesis, declared that he sold the bottles to contacts he had in Russia.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project