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Man accused of strangling his partner and burning the body near Costa del Sol beauty spot now claims she died during extreme sex session
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Man accused of strangling his partner and burning the body near Costa del Sol beauty spot now claims she died during extreme sex session

The defendant, who faces up to 15 years in prison for the alleged crime in Nerja, said he withheld his version of what happened, when he originally confessed, out of "sheer shame"

Irene Quirante

Malaga

Tuesday, 9 April 2024, 16:54

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Oxana's body was found ablaze in Maro on 2 August 2021. Her then partner, a 56-year-old man, stands accused of strangling her to death that same day in the home they shared in Rincón de la Victoria before burning the body near Nerja.

The defendant, who on Monday 8 April testified before a judge in the provincial court of Malaga, changed his version of events from the one he confessed to when he was arrested. According to the new version he told the court, the victim's death happened accidentally while they were having extreme sex using a rope.

Russian national

According to the defendant's testimony, he loved the woman and never intended to end her life. Oxana, a Russian national, was 37 years old and the mother of an 18-year-old young man. The two had been dating for a year, said the defendant, who denied he had killed her after a jealous quarrel in the house, as the accusations in the case claim. He also denied he had ever laid a hand on her or humiliated her, or that he felt hatred towards her because she was a woman, contrary to what the prosecution claims in its written statement.

According to the defendant, the woman got angry with him the previous evening because her son called him to ask him to leave Oxana, since, according to his version, she was mistreating him. That night, he said, they slept in separate rooms and, in the morning, they talked and had a few drinks. Then they had sex in which they used a rope to wrap around Oxana's neck, he told the court, pointing out this practice was common for the couple. He told the court Oxana died accidentally without him realising and he could not do anything to revive her.

The defendant did not exert more force than on other occasions when this practice had been carried out and does not know why on this occasion the outcome was fatal, the court heard. He pleaded guilty at the time and did not tell this version "out of sheer shame" as he worked as a teacher in a Catholic school, he told the court. He also alluded to alleged pressure from police officers who arrested him. "I am sorry because I should never have accepted having put the rope around her neck," he said.

English classes

Once he realised the woman had died, he bought alcohol to dispose of Oxana's body by burning it in a rubbish skip. He then went to give English classes at an academy, he told the court, before returning to the house where the victim's body was. He then rolled up the body in a blanket and put it in the boot of his car, although his initial intention was not to set fire to make it disappear, but to leave it in his house in Armilla (Granada) "to see if someone could take the blame", he told the court. However, on the way, he changed his mind and stopped at a spot near Nerja.

Both the prosecution and the private prosecution, representing the victim's son (lawyers Antonio José García and Guzel Zamaltdinova, of Garzalex Abogados) are asking for him to be sentenced to 15 years in prison as the alleged perpetrator of intentional homicide. According to their pleadings, the man killed her after a jealous dispute and motivated by a "special contempt for her because she was a woman". They claimed at one point during the fight, he took a piece of rope he had in his house and wrapped it around Oxana's neck, squeezing it tightly until she died by strangulation.

The public prosecutor's office also pointed out the accused is now ill, and at the time of the alleged crime he did have "complete and proven knowledge of the facts and their unlawfulness, his actions being in accordance with this understanding" without psychological causes to "affect his intellectual and volitional capacities".

Defence lawyer Eduardo Zuleta told the jury his client did not act maliciously, but recklessly, and that when he confessed "he never said he intended to kill her". He also said "there is no evidence to disprove the version" that the accused has maintained this Monday in the trial, pointing out he did not tell it before "out of shame".

The neighbour's call

Guardia Civil officers who arrested the suspect on the same day of the alleged crime also testified at the hearing on Monday. They said a neighbour raised the alarm as he had come across the accused in the car park, who asked for help to put Oxana's body in the boot of the car. According to the police, the witness called 112 Andalucía and was very nervous because, although the defendant told him that he was going to take her to the doctor, he did not think it was normal that she was wrapped in a blanket and he realised her body was very cold.

Following the tip-off, officers went to the garage to meet the neighbour and, within minutes, the accused appeared in his car. According to the police officers, the man appeared to be in shock and, initially, did not react when they told him to get out of the car or when they asked him about the woman. One of them drew his gun, but at no time did he point it at the man's head, as the accused claimed.

Once the man got out of the car, the officer put away his gun and sat him down as he seemed dizzy. At that moment, the officer heard on the Guardia Civil's transmission channel that a burning body had been found in Maro. The suspect collapsed and confessed that it was his fault and that they had fought that morning and he killed her after hitting her, the officers told the court.

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