Mari Luz’s family intend to prevent killer’s appeal

THE family of Mari Luz Cortes, the five-year-old killed in Huelva in 2008, will bring allegations against the appeals of the two people sentenced for her murder. Mari Luz was murdered by known paedophile, Santiago del Valle, who was sentenced to 22 years in prison. His sister was sentenced to nine years as an accomplice to the murder.

Mari Luz’s father, Juan Jose Cortes, said that they do not intend to appeal the sentence, but they cannot permit the killers to appeal to the Supreme Court either, as the case is over and they don’t want to drag it on any more.

He said that their lawyer, Gloria Gomez, would handle the allegations.

Meanwhile, Juan Lopez Rueda and Manuel Dominguez, representing the brother and sister, are appealing on the basis that testimonies which they believed fundamental in proving Santiago’s innocence were not allowed in court, as well as the fact that Rosa was sentenced as an accomplice to murder, when according to them, there was “no real evidence that the girl was murdered”.

Mari Luz disappeared on January 13, 2008 and her body was not found until March 7, 2008.  Del Valle was arrested on March 25, 2008 and at the time should have been in prison for sexual abuse offences, including one against his own daughter, but was at large owing to a judicial oversight.

Juan Jose Cortes has been an Evangelist Priest for 14 years, now, he covers Spain in a campaign for the penal code to be changed to give paedophiles life sentences. He is also part of an association under the name Plataforma Ciudadano Cortes which wants the Minors’ Law to change.

He met with the Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, and is now a legal advisor for the opposition Partido Popular. He has said he intends to study law.

Although he used to be in the ranks of PSOE, he has now joined the PP as he says they are “better Christians”.


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