THE owner of the plot of land in the Sierra de Totalan where two-year-old Julen died last week claims he covered the borehole with two concrete blocks.
The Guardia Civil told a Malaga court investigating the case witness statements about whether the hole was sealed or not contradict each other.
According to Spanish media, police claim the owner of the land where Julen fell down a 72-metre prospecting hole insists he covered it with concrete blocks, a claim backed up by Julen’s father. The man responsible for digging the hole, Antonio Sanchez, reportedly told police he covered it with a 15-kilogram stone, however.
The statements will be used during the negligent manslaughter investigation being carried out by a Malaga court. According to Spanish media, officials will examine two leads; whether the owner of the land Julen died on, or the man who bored the hole were negligent, and how Julen came to be buried under large quantities of soil after his fall.
The negligent manslaughter charge carries a sentence of one to four years in prison for serious cases, or a fine in more minor instances. Anyone found to be at fault could also be liable for compensation to Julen’s parents, as well as for the costs of the rescue operation, thought to be millions of Euros.
After the Guardia Civil’s Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA) confirmed the hole Julen fell down had been bored without the necessary permissions, police say they will focus their investigation on whether Antonio Sanchez attempted to seal the well as he claims, and whether the land’s owner removed any covering.
The second arm of the investigation will use witness accounts from those present when Julen fell, including his parents, his father’s cousin, the owner of the land, and two walkers who came to the family’s aid.