FIVE police officers have been sentenced to four years in prison over the death of a man in Costa Blanca.
They admitted in a plea-bargain that they took Diego Perez against his will to a secluded bay in Cartagena and did nothing to avoid his death.
The events can be traced back to March 11 2014, where the deceased called the National Police after receiving death threats from his neighbours for stealing their bicycle. Two weeks later his body was found floating in the Cala Cortina bar some four kilometres away from his home.
Initial investigations focused on his neighbours, however a witness – who had to be placed into protective custody – came forward and said they saw three police cars show up at Diego’s house and whilst hitting him, forced him into one of the vehicles.
Traffic cameras traced their journey to the beach and when arrested in October the same year, all six officers claimed that although they ignored police protocol, they had not forced the victim to come with them, and once they arrived at their destination he ran away, and they presumed he had drowned when he was found dead.
An autopsy revealed however that Diego had died before ending up in the sea and had multiple head traumas and several broken vertebrae.
Originally, the officers faced up to 24 years in prison for murder and unlawful arrest however in court it was agreed that they had taken the victim to the beach against his will but they did not kill him.
They were sentenced to two years in prison for involuntary manslaughter and a further two years for unlawful arrest. One of the officers died in custody of pancreatitis before the trial.