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Murder of Gabriel, 8, qualifies for genuine life imprisonment
THE killing of eight-year-old Gabriel Cruz Ramírez would qualify for a lifelong prison sentence subject to review – a punishment several political parties want to scrap and which the families of murder victims are campaigning to keep in force.
Aimed at preventing potential reoffenders and those who cannot be reformed from walking the streets again, permanent custodial sentences regularly reviewed fall within the terms of the PP government's controversial Public Safety Law and apply where specific aggravating circumstances apply.
These include victims under the age of 16, victims who are especially vulnerable, or when sexual violence is perpetrated before or after the murder.
They also cover serial killings, those committed by organised crime gangs, those perpetrated against the Crown – defined as the King, the Queen Consort or any of the monarch's ascendants or descendants – genocide, obstructing the recovery of the victim's body, murder following kidnap, serial rapes, rape of minors following kidnap or torture, deaths caused deliberately through arson, or by releasing nuclear or radioactive elements.
The campaign against permanent prison being scrapped is being led by Juan Carlos Quer, whose 18-year-old daughter Diana was kidnapped, raped and murdered whilst walking back to her holiday home in Galicia from the village fiestas at night, and is backed by the parents of Marta del Castillo from Sevilla, murdered aged 17 in January 2009 by her ex-boyfriend Miguel Carcaño, who refuses to reveal what he did with her body, and by Ruth Ortiz, whose children Ruth and José, aged six and two, were killed by their father José Bretón as 'revenge' for divorcing him, among other families of high-profile victims.
Ciudadanos' leader Rivera assures Quer family of his support for life imprisonment
Leader of centre-right political party Ciudadanos, Albert Rivera, recently met with Juan Carlos Quer to express his 'unequivocal support' for maintaining reviewable life imprisonment despite other opposition parties in Parliament being against it.
Diana Quer's killer José Enrique Abuín Gey would qualify for life imprisonment if it were proven he raped the sixth-former before killing her, but toxicology results on the young woman's body have not shown up any traces of DNA which would count as evidence she had been sexually assaulted.
Juan Carlos says he is 'not surprised' at the lack of DNA, given that his daughter had spent 'more than 500 days' down an eight-metre (26-foot) deep well in water before she was found.
But he has always maintained it is 'evident' she was raped, since Abuín Gey 'clearly did not tie her up and put her in his car boot to take her to church', and her body, when found, was naked and weighed down with rocks.
Diana Quer's killer: “I'll be out of jail in seven years”
Abuín Gey wrote to his parents last month, and the contents of the letter – intercepted as a matter of course by prison staff – have just been made public.
In it, he 'assures' his family that he is 'only being charged with murder' which he is confident will be downgraded to a manslaughter conviction, meaning he 'could be out within seven years'.
He insists he killed Diana 'accidentally', even though his original claims that he ran over her without realising and panicked have been completely ruled out by a post-mortem showing she was strangled and the absence of any marks on his car.
Also, Abuín Gey says his wife Rosario, 29, who has not been charged, was with him in the car that night but that he agreed with her he would not disclose this to the police.
Rosario had apparently said weeks ago that she intended to 'stand by her man', but Abuín Gey says she had written to him just before the published letter to tell him their relationship was over.
Photograph: The well where Gabriel's body was dumped initially. Suspected killer Ana Julia Quezada, 35, removed the child's remains and hid them in the boot of her car, where they were found by police earlier today (Sunday).
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