SIX MEN are on trial in Seville charged with burning the beard of a homeless man to shoot a viral video, with the man dying in hospital days later.
Seville prosecutors are seeking sentences of between two and five years for the six defendants, in a trial that has experienced serious delays since the 2014 crime. Defense lawyers have denied all charges for their clients, with one main witness no longer willing to testify and doubts raised whether the fire caused the man’s death.
In May 2014, the young men allegedly offered a homeless man money in exchange for them torching his beard and recording a video of the appalling crime – which occurred in Dos Hermanas, a small city 15 kilometres south of Seville.
The man, who was a drug addict, accepted the offer and was subsequently rushed to Seville’s Virgen del Rocio hospital where he died five days later. Although doctors confirmed that he had suffered burns on 6% of his body, they could not decisively conclude that the fire caused his death as he was already suffering from untreated HIV and Hepatitis C.
One of the trial’s main witnesses recently claimed that they no longer recall a single detail of their 2014 testimony, despite threats from police that withholding evidence could reap legal consequences. Another lead investigator from the Dos Hermanas bureau of Policia Nacional is currently unable to testify as he tested positive for Covid-19. The trial continues.
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