By Linda Hall • 13 November 2019 • 12:54
MIGUEL LOPEZ, accused of murder, walked out of the Alicante High Court a free man.
After three days of deliberation, six of the jury of nine decided that he did not shoot his mother-in-law Maria del Carmen Martinez twice in the head in what police sources described as an execution.
The wealthy 72-year-old was the widow of Vicente Sala Bello, ex-president of the CAM bank, and headed the family’s business interests, based principally on plastics factories in Latin America.
On the day she died in December 2016, Maria del Carmen had gone to pick up her car from another of the family’s businesses, the Novocar showroom in Alicante City. This was managed by Lopez who by then had incurred losses estimated at €4 million
At the time of her death, Maria del Carmen was planning to hand over control of all the family concerns to her son, Vicente Sala Martinez.
The move was opposed by her three daughters and the family was known to be riven by conflict long before Maria del Carmen died.
Police investigators suspected early on that her son-in-law was either behind the shooting or had ordered it and he was remanded the following February but released on €150,000 bail six weeks later.
In her instructions to the jury, judge Francisco Bru admitted that many crimes went unsolved and told them that it was preferable to have a guilty person on the street than an innocent person in prison.
Meanwhile, the question of who killed Maria del Carmen remains unanswered.
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Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share?
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