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CRIME

Mother and daughter jailed for revenge killing of politician

A mother and daughter were sentenced to jail terms of 22 and 20 years for the murder of Isabel Carrasco, a politican in Léon, who was shot in broad daylight on a footbridge in the city.

Mother and daughter jailed for revenge killing of politician
Montserrat Gonzalez (R) and her daughter Triana Martínez in court with a lawyer. Photo: AFP

Last month a jury found Montserrat Gonzalez, 60 and her daughter Triana Martínez guilty of conspiring to kill Carrasco, the conservative Popular Party (PP) leader of the provincial government, in an act of revenge.

On Thursday the pair were handed the prison sentence, while a policewoman Raquel Gago, was acquitted of murder but found guilty of helping the killers cover up the murder and safeguard the murder weapon.

In the January trial Gonzalez admitted shooting Carrasco  in the back on the afternoon of May 12th, 2014 as she walked on a pedestrian footbridge in the northern city of Leon

With her face covered by a scarf and sunglasses, Gonzalez shot Carrasco two more times in the head before walking away with her daughter who was nearby.

A retired police officer who happened to be on the footbridge when the killing occured trailed the pair and called police who arrested Gonzalez and her daughter, Triana Martinez.   

The man also saw how the pair left the gun used in the killing in a car belonging to a policewoman with the city of Leon, Raquel Gago, who was also arrested. 

Gonzalez told a court in Leon on the opening day of the trial of the three women that she killed Carrasco as revenge for the way her daughter had been treated by her.

Her daughter's temporary contract with the Leon provincial council ended in 2011 and another candidate was chosen to replace her.   

Gonzalez told the court that her daughter was let go from her job because she refused to have sex with Carrasco, who had led the provincial government of Leon since 2007.

Asked if she regretted killing the politician, Gonzalez told the court: “No. I would be lying if I said otherwise.”

“She would have continued to make life impossible” for my daughter, Gonzalez added.

Carrasco's murder shocked a country unused to such acts since the Basque separatists ETA announced an end to violence. Numerous PP officials were assassinated in the 1990s and early 2000s in killings blamed on ETA, which declared a definitive end to violence in October 2011.

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CRIME

At funeral, hundreds mourn verger killed in Spain church attack

Hundreds of mourners gathered Friday for the funeral of the verger who was killed when a machete-wielding assailant attacked two churches in Spain as investigators probed the reasons for the deadly assault.

At funeral, hundreds mourn verger killed in Spain church attack

They gathered at Nuestra Señora de La Palma, one of the churches targeted in the southern port city of Algeciras, where the coffin of verger Diego Valencia was placed. Dozens more gathered in the square outside.

Valencia, who was in his 60s, was first injured inside the church, fleeing outside to escape the attacker who pursued him into the square and killed him.

Dozens of red candles and bunches of flowers were laid on the spot where he died, and after the mass ended and his coffin was driven away in a hearse, the crowd broke into emotional applause, an AFP correspondent said.

The assailant also entered the nearby San Isidro church, attacking its 74-year-old priest Antonio Rodríguez, who was badly injured and underwent neck surgery but has since been released from hospital.

Arrested at the scene, the suspected attacker – a 25-year-old Moroccan called Yassine Kanjaa – has since been transferred to Madrid where he is being questioned by investigators, a police source said.

He is due to appear before a judge at the Audiencia Nacional, Spain’s top criminal court, on Monday facing terror-related charges.

The government has said he was served with a deportation order in June but had no prior convictions and had not been under surveillance.

Investigators probe motive

Speaking in Algeciras late on Thursday, Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said the suspect had “never been on the radar for radicalism” in Spain nor in any neighbouring countries.

Asked whether the suspect was mentally ill, Marlaska said he was not ruling out anything.

“The terrorist aspect of the events is being analysed, but there are also other possibilities,” he said.

In court documents seen by AFP, the judge leading the investigation said the bloodshed could be considered linked to “jihadist Salafism” and that after his arrest, the suspect repeatedly shouted: “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest).

The incident drew condemnation from across the political spectrum although opposition leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo, head of the right-wing Popular Party and a possible future candidate for prime minister, found himself in hot water after remarks widely seen as Islamophobic.

“It’s been many centuries since a Catholic or a Christian has killed in the name of their religion or beliefs and yet other nations have some people who do that,” he said.

His remarks were swiftly denounced by Education Minister Pilar Alegría. “There are times when it is better to remain silent and seem responsible than to speak out like that,” tweeted Alegría, a spokeswoman for the ruling Socialists.

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