Tuesday, 18 April 2023
The investigation into the disappearance of Jamal, a Dutch national kidnapped in 2020 by fake police officers in Marbella and who has been missing since then, is at the centre of a miscarriage of justice. As of Friday 14 April, five of the six suspects are no longer under investigation.
The reason is simple, but needs to be explained. The key date is 19 January 2022, when the deadline of the last extension of the investigation decreed by a court in Marbella six months earlier - 19 July 2021, was due to expire. But at that time neither the judge nor the prosecutor requested a new moratorium. Consequently, everything that has happened after that day has been annulled. Judicially speaking, that part of the proceedings does not exist.
The problem is that what happened after that date the Organised Crime Group II of the Udyco-Costa del Sol, which took up the case, helped by the leads given by a private detective hired by the family, delivered a very extensive report to the court which led to five new arrests (up to that point, the case had only one person under investigation). Now, all of that part has been invalidated and the five suspects have been cleared.
The origin lies in an appeal filed on 1 March by the defence of one of the suspects, in which he argued that the investigation should have been concluded on 19 January 2022, the date on which the moratorium should have been agreed, and requested that all subsequent extensions be annulled and in particular, the one issued on 23 August 2022.
The defence argued that as there was no order extending the investigation, in addition to the conclusion of the investigation, a violation of article 324 of the Criminal Procedure Act, which after the latest reforms - in 2015 and 2020 - imposes time limits on the investigation that can be extended every six months at the request of the prosecutor's office or by direct order of the judge.
The magistrate currently at the Marbella court, who joined on 10 January this year (therefore, after the error occurred), has annulled all investigations from 20 January 2022 - almost half of the proceedings.
The current head of the court, in an order dated 10 April, which notified all parties on 14 April, clearly details the evolution of the last two reforms of the trial law, the spirit of which is to impose specific time limits on investigations to avoid undue delays, although with the possibility of extending them every six months.
"The magistrate states in his decision, which although not yet final, includes both the existing jurisprudence of the Supreme Court as well as that of other lower courts.
Consequently, the case can only be pursued against one of the suspects, who had been summoned as a defendant before 19 January 2022 and, therefore, when the investigation had not yet been concluded, as the judge clarifies in the same order. For the other five defendants, the case is closed.
The lawyer Javier Muriel, one of the professionals representing the victim's relatives, said: "This is an example of the kind of justice we have in a place like Marbella due the lack of resources. Five judges have already passed through this investigation".
The lawyer stressed that "due to a miscarriage of justice" there are five suspects, "against whom the prosecution itself sees evidence", who can no longer be prosecuted or charged for Jamal's kidnapping "despite the great work done by the Udyco group in Malaga".
Muriel added that the family, who had already been critical of the investigation, are "completely devastated" after learning that half of the proceedings have been annulled because one of the extensions required by law has not been issued.
Jamal was abducted on the evening of 22 August 2020. After dinner, the Dutch national went with his wife to Puerto Banús and then returned to their rented luxury flat in Nueva Andalucía, where the couple's five children were waiting.
Investigators reviewed all the security cameras from Puerto Banús to the couple's holiday home. Udyco specialists are convinced that, based on his manoeuvres, the driver of an Audi RS6 was following Jamal inside the port and also outside it.
Once outside Puerto Banús, the Audi RS6 pulled away and two other vehicles - a black Audi A3 and a white Peugeot 308 - began to pursue the Mercedes in which Jamal was travelling with his wife. Seeing through the cameras how the victim was driving, at excessive speed and invading the opposite lane to overtake other cars, the agents suspect that he noticed the pursuit and tried to escape.
At around 10.10pm, when they were driving along Avenida del Prado, near Calle París, the black Audi A3 pulled in front to cut him off. Jamal's wife and other witnesses testified that the car had lights on the roof that emulated those of a police vehicle. The Peugeot followed behind, preventing Jamal from fleeing.
Several men got out of both cars, but they have not yet been identified. One of them had blond hair and blue eyes. The other had curly hair. Face masks, which were mandatory at the time due to the pandemic, helped to hide their faces.
Jamal's wife recalls that they spoke "poor quality" Spanish and English. She heard one of them say an expletive in Spanish as he tried to open one of the doors. She was warned: "Stay still inside the car or I'll shoot you".
Jamal was pulled out of his car, pushed against it and handcuffed. She told the officers, "they began to hit him over the head with a pistol with a silencer, causing him to fall to the ground. They then bundled him into the black car and fled the scene at full speed.
The abduction, according to Jamal’s wife, lasted exactly three minutes. In the meantime, the victim had time to take his wife's phone and put it in his clothes. The officers believed that the mobile phone could lead to him and asked the court to tap it. However, the phone was found smashed on the right-hand verge of the Istán road, near the dual carriageway.
Reporta un error en esta noticia
Necesitas ser suscriptor para poder votar.