Javier Ardines: The defenses brandish lack of evidence in the last session of the trial for the murder of the Llanes councilor | Spain

The accused of the crime of Javier Ardines, behind their lawyers during the trial, in the session of November 15.
The accused of the crime of Javier Ardines, behind their lawyers during the trial, in the session of November 15.YOUTUBE TSJA ISSUANCE CAPTURE (Europa Press)

The defenses of the four defendants for the murder of the IU de Llanes councilor Javier Ardines have based their final arguments on Friday on the lack of biological DNA tests and the absence of direct witnesses to incriminate them and have asked the popular jury to search for the “Judicial truth” and render a verdict of not guilty.

The Oviedo Hearing held this Friday the last session of the popular jury trial against Pedro Nieva, accused of commissioning the crime out of jealousy after discovering that his wife and the councilor had a secret relationship; Djilali Benatia and Maamar Kelii, as alleged hitmen, and Jesús Muguruza, as an intermediary.

In the report of conclusions, the four defenses have asked the popular court to take into account the difference that exists between the objective evidence and the conjectures of the investigators because they have recalled that in this case it is not a question of “giving satisfaction to the family of the councilman murdered ”but to reach the judicial truth.

On several occasions they have repeated that there is not a single direct evidence that confirms the presence of the accused in the llanisca parish of Belmonte de Pría on August 16, 2018 when the mayor suffered the ambush that cost him his life. The defenses have reiterated the “coincidences and similarities” that, in their opinion, the murder of the councilor presents with the case of the young Rocío Wanninkhof who kept Dolores Vázquez in prison for 18 months as the alleged perpetrator of the death despite her innocence. In both murders, the investigation was carried out by the Civil Guard’s Central Operative Unit (UCO) and in both crimes the agents pointed to jealousy as the only working hypothesis, despite the fact that, according to the defenses, there was no scientific evidence , nor DNA evidence that would direct suspicions towards the main defendants.

A “flagrant error by the UCO”, in the words of the lawyers, which would show that the investigation was not correct, among other issues, because from the beginning the suspicions had focused on Pedro Nieva as an alleged inducer for not overcoming his wife’s infidelity with the mayor and not having followed other sources of conflict of the victim.

The defenses have reproached the agents for giving a “favorable treatment” to the woman whose DNA was found at the crime scene, by previously informing her about the presence of her genetic profile on the body, clothing and the steering wheel of the councilor’s car. and in one of the fences used in the ambush and which they discarded as a suspect, when she affirmed that she had sexual relations with the mayor the day before in the afternoon.

A dismissal that they also extended to their environment since, according to the defenses, not only did they not question the version of this woman that the DNA could have been transferred in a sexual relationship with the victim on the eve of the crime, but they also did not investigate whether his partner “could be jealous, possessive and dominant”, as they drew the profile of Pedro Nieva.

These lines were not investigated because, according to Pedro Nieva’s defense attorney, the objective was to blame his client for sending a recording to Ardines’s widow and daughter that confirmed his wife’s infidelity with the councilor, although her behavior “did not fit.” has stressed, not having deleted conversations or messages and not having looked for an alibi.

The defense attorney for the man named in the investigation as an intermediary, Jesús Muguruza, has stressed that the principle of presumption of innocence is “intact”, because “it has not been touched, touched, or altered” by the slightest evidence.

Among others, he has referred to the trip that, according to the investigators, Jesús Murugurza, the alleged inducer and the alleged hitman Djilali Benatia made from the Basque Country to Asturias to prepare the murder because there are no cameras that collect images of their presence, nor is there any witness who has seen them in Llanes.

For their part, the defense attorneys for Djilali Benatia and Maamar Kelii, accused as hitmen, have highlighted that there are many loopholes that prevent the jury from reaching a guilty verdict. In the turn of the last word, the two alleged hitmen have intervened to affirm that they “did not kill” the mayor.

“I swear by my children that I did not kill that man, I have not done anything, I really swear it by my children, I have nothing to do with it, the Civil Guard played me,” he said through tears and addressing the family of Ardines who in the first row followed the session. Family members have also burst into tears when listening to the accused, who had already indicated in previous sessions that he received pressure during his detention to declare his participation in the events.

More succinct in his speech was the other alleged hit man, Maamar Kelii, who also said that “he has not killed anyone and is innocent.” Through tears the defendant has insisted on his innocence.

For his part, the alleged inducer of the crime, Nieva, has refused to use his last word at the trial. Nor has the accused of being the intermediary, Muguruza, wanted to intervene.

Once the testimonial and expert tests and the report of conclusions have been practiced, the jury will receive the object of the verdict next Monday and will withdraw to deliberate.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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