THE trial of two brothers accused of kidnapping the teenage daughter of an Alicante businessman has started.
The trial started two hours late after the police accidentally transported just one of the two men to the courthouse, having to return to collect the other. Amidst tight security – eight police officers were present the courtroom to prevent incidents – the family of the victim sat face to face with the alleged kidnappers.
The owner of Alicante transport company Seur revealed how in kidnappers threatened to kill his daughter if he failed to pay €300,000 ransom within three days.
“If you don’t get hold of the money we will be forced to destroy the evidence, and she is evidence,” they allegedly told him. The businessman convinced the men to lower the ransom amount to €74,000 claiming he could not obtain the large amount they demanded in such a short time period.
While one of the brothers admitted his and his brother’s guilt, the other was defiant, describing the trial as a ‘farce’ and refusing to answer questions by the Public Prosecutor.
The two men are Vicente Manuel C.M. a former Legionnaire who had been released from prison shortly before the kidnapping took place, and the other, Jose Yomas C.M. a Seur distributor who had been fired shortly before. The brothers face 28 and 25 years in prison respectively for kidnapping.
In July 2009 the brothers allegedly punctured the tyre of the victim’s car as she drove away from school. They forced her into their car as she got out the vehicle to deal with the puncture and took her to a hideaway they had prepared in a forested area between Atalyas and El Bacarot.
Jose Tomas was arrested as he prepared to collect the ransom, while Vicente Manuel was captured when he went to the police station to find out why his brother had been arrested. The latter’s lawyer demanded the case be dismissed alleging the confession by the other was obtained under police torture.