• Spain's news in English

Spanish pair get 18 yrs for murder of their adopted Chinese daughter

AFP · 12 Nov 2015, 14:02

Published: 12 Nov 2015 14:02 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

A nine-member jury in the northwestern region of Galicia on October 30th unanimously found the pair guilty of killing their daughter, Asunta Yong Fang Basterra Porto, after one of the most closely followed criminal trials in Spain in recent years.

The girl's body was found on a forest trail near the northwestern city of Santiago de Compostela in September 2013.   

Her parents had reported her missing a few hours before she was found, but the jury agreed with prosecutors that the pair had in fact conspired to kill their daughter and try to make it look like a random act of violence.

A court in Santiago de Compostela on Thursday sentenced Rosario Porto, a 46-year-old former lawyer, and her ex-husband, journalist Alfonso Basterra, 51, each to 18 years in jail for the murder, the court said in a statement.

Prosecutors charged that the murder had been planned by both parents, but carried out by the mother.

At the time of the girl's death, the couple were separated but were raising their adopted daughter together.

Prosecutors accused the parents of giving Asunta varying doses of the sedative Orfidal for several months to test its impact on her before finally giving a strong enough dose to knock her out so they could choke her to death with a rope without the girl being able to fight back.

During the trial Asunta's violin teacher told the court that two months before the girl was found dead the girl had been woozy and incapable of playing her instrument.

The prosecutors said that after strangling Asunta her mother dumped the body, which was found with a length of rope identical to rope found at a country house she owns.

The pair deny killing their daughter and have said through their lawyers that they will appeal their convictions.    

Story continues below…

The case shocked Spain and drew international attention when it came to light, prompting a statement of concern from the Chinese foreign ministry.   

Asunta was adopted by the couple in China when she was less than a year old.   

She was the first Chinese baby to be adopted in Galicia and her arrival in the region was covered by a local television station in which the couple spoke of their joy in finally having her in Spain after a long and complicated process.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Recipe: How to make classic Spanish ham croquettes
Photo: thespanishcuisine.com

Learn how to make this all-time Spanish favourite at home.

Halloween weekend: Sunny skies and nightmare traffic
Authorities expect 5.5 million cars to take to the road over the 'puente'. Archive photo: AFP

Spain is set for great weather over the long weekend. But be prepared for nightmare traffic.

Southern Spain will become a desert with global warming
Photo: Steven Stralton / Flickr

Southern Spain will become a desert if global warning continues, scientists have warned.

Eight Spanish films to truely terrify you this Halloween
Photo: Corie Howell / Flickr Creative Commons.

Looking for something to give you goosebumps this Halloween? The Local looks at eight Spanish films that are sure to have you cowering beneath the covers.

Spain's Socialists refuse to go easy on Rajoy once in power
Photo: AFP

Spain's Socialists may have reluctantly decided to let Mariano Rajoy govern again but they will not go easy on the acting conservative premier once he re-takes power, they warned on Thursday.

Spain's Podemos sees golden opportunity in Socialist woes
Pablo Iglesias is ready to step up in opposition. Photo: AFP

As Spain's conservatives prepare to re-take power after 10 months of political limbo, anti-austerity party Podemos has set its sights on replacing the divided Socialists as the main opposition force.

Wildlife ranger accused over decapitated bison in Valencia
The headless corpse of Sauro was found last month. Photo: Carlos Alamo / Reserva de Valdeserrillas

The case of the beheaded bison at a wildlife reserve in Valencia just got a whole lot weirder.

Spain jobless drops below 20% for first time in six years
The unemployed queuing up outside a Madrid job centre. Photo: AFP

Spain's unemployment fell below 20 percent for the first time in six years, official figures showed on Thursday.

'Saints not ghouls' insists Spanish church for Halloween
Suggested outfits from the Bishopric of Cadiz and Ceuta. Photo: Shower of Roses

Spanish bishops are urging good Christian children to forgo zombie, ghost and devil outfits and instead dress up as "saints, virgins and apostles".

Tough road ahead, Spain PM warns before return to power
Rajoy will try and form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned on Wednesday of a tough road ahead as he prepares to take power again at the head of a minority government with little support.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available