Monday, April 22, 2024

ARGENTINA | 27-03-2024 16:45

Court sentences Nicolás Pachelo to life imprisonment for murder of murder of María Marta García Belsunce

Ruling was delivered by the Buenos Aires Province Criminal Court of Appeals, more than 21 years after the murder of María Marta García Belsunce at a country club in northern Greater Buenos Aires.

More than 21 years after the murder of María Marta García Belsunce, the Buenos Aires Province Criminal Court of Appeals sentenced Nicolás Pachelo to life imprisonment.

It is a historic judgment by the Criminal Court of Appeals, which reversed the decision made in December 2022 which had acquitted Pachelo of killing Belsunce, a sociologist, in Pilar in 2002.

The ruling was signed by the Justices in Chamber II of the Court of Appeals, Fernando Mancini Hebec and María Florencia Budiño, who reversed the previous acquittal. In it, the judges observe that it was Pachelo who on October 27, 2002 went to the Belsunce home in order to steal from and murder the sociologist.

With the ruling, courts finally closed off the investigative theory whereby widower Carlos Carrascosa had been liable for the killing.

During a television interview, journalist Pablo Duggan, author of the book Carmel, about the sociologist’s murder, said: “Pachelo was the last person seen near María Marta before she was found dead. Two boys coming back from a football match saw him run towards María Marta’s house.” That, to him, is the key piece of evidence of the case.

When the acquittal was appealed by prosecutors, the case reached the Criminal Court of Appeals, which reviewed the entire case file and concluded that Pachelo was indeed liable for the crime.

Other evidence considered was the mobile phone data from the different communication antennas.

Pachelo, who already faces other arrest warrants issued by courts for a robbery case, now has the chance to appeal. As this is a given, the case will end up being solved by the Buenos Aires Province Supreme Court.

Two weeks ago, Pachelo had been in the news because he was once again denied his request for probation and temporary release.

Criminal Oral Court No. 4 in San Isidro, consisting of the same judges who sentenced him to nine and a half years in prison and in July 2023, reduced his sentence by seven months because of an “educational stimulus” benefit (he finished secondary school, started a degree in Social Communication and took courses in IT and carpentry).

According to the ruling, Pachelo “has met the temporary requirements to access the requested benefits, but his situation does not fulfil the remaining materials conditions for them to be granted.”

The measure was ordered by Guaranties Judge no. 1 in San Isidro, Ricardo José Costa, who admitted the motion by Pilar prosecutor Andrés Quintana.

“Temporary outings are hereby denied, as is, reasonably, the release in the petitioned terms”, Judges Federico Ecke and Esteban Andrejín explained.

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