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CRIME

‘Stepmother’ jailed for life in Spain for killing 8-year-old Gabriel

A Dominican woman was sentenced Monday to life in prison in Spain for murdering the eight-year-old son of her Spanish partner in a case that shocked the country.

'Stepmother' jailed for life in Spain for killing 8-year-old Gabriel
Ana Julia Quezada was found guilty of killing Gabriel Cruz and hiding his body.

A jury in Almeria in southern Spain last month found Ana Julia Quezada guilty of killing the boy, who was the son of her then partner Angel Cruz.  A court on Monday handed down a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years, the stiffest possible jail term under Spanish law.   

Gabriel Cruz disappeared on February 27, 2018, after visiting his grandmother in Las Hortichuelas, a village near the coast 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of Almeria.

His disappearance triggered a massive search involving hundreds of volunteers which lasted nearly two weeks.

But on March 11th, the police discovered the boy's body in the boot of a car belonging to Quezada, who had been seen taking part in the search, wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with his face and speaking to reporters in tears.

He had been asphyxiated, according to the court.

Investigators began to suspect Quezada after she found a shirt belonging to the boy near the village in an area which police had searched twice.   

The case received nationwide attention after a missing person's alert went viral. An image of a blue fish — inspired by Gabriel's love of the sea — was shared on social media with the hashtag #TodosSomosGabriel, meaning “we are all Gabriel”.


Carla Navarro/ Twitter

During the trial Quezada said she had accidentally killed the boy when she covered his mouth in an attempt to silence him.

The court also ordered her to pay €250,000  ($273,000) each to the boy's mother and father for “psychological damages”, as well as €200,203 to the Spanish state to cover the costs of the search for the child.   

“Psychopaths should be locked away, far from society, so they can't hurt anyone,” the boy's father told reporters last month after the jury found her guilty.

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CRIME

Extremist deported after living in Spain for 30 years

Spanish authorities have deported a Moroccan Muslim activist who has lived in the country since he was ten, after accusing him of being one of the "main advocates" of the Salafist movement of ultra-conservative Islamism in Spain.

Extremist deported after living in Spain for 30 years

The 40-year-old was deported to Morocco on Saturday morning after he was held for several weeks at a deportation centre in Barcelona, a police source told AFP.

Officers arrested Mohamed Said Badaoui last month in the northeastern province of Tarragona, where he was the president of the Association for the Defence of the Rights of the Muslim Community.

A Spanish court in late October approved his deportation due to “his participation in activities contrary to national security” and “public order”.

Spanish police consider Badaoui to be “one of the main advocates in Spain of the most orthodox Salafism, which he preaches so influentially that an increase in radicalism occurred in Tarragona” since he moved there, according to its ruling.

Badaoui arrived in Spain at the age of ten from Morocco and has lived in the Catalan city of Reus for 30 years, where he has a wife and three children.

Police also accused him of “taking advantage” of the “vulnerability” of minors who arrive in Spain without their parents, “mainly of Moroccan origin”, to indoctrinate them in the “most radical Salafism,” which promotes a strictly conservative lifestyle.

Badaoui has rejected these accusations. Well-known in Spain’s northeastern region of Catalonia where he has lived for nearly three decades, he presents himself as an activist and anti-racism campaigner.

He has been supported by Catalonia’s main separatist parties which govern the region as well as by the regional branch of far-left party Podemos, the junior partner in Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s coalition government.

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