On the first day of his trail in Las Palmas, Raúl Diáz has confessed to killing his wife, Romina Celeste, on New Year’s Eve in 2018. Diáz also pleaded guilty to four other charges.
Yesterday, Diáz pleaded guilty to manslaughter, habitual abuse, gender violence and domestic violence, desecration of a corpse and falsifying a crime. A murder charge, which would have brought a longer sentence, was not brought due to the impossibility of proving malice and cruelty. Emilia Zaballos, the lawyer for Romina Celeste’s family, said “We’re absolutely clear and in agreement that this could have been murder, but what we can prove is homicide.”
Diáz’s lawyers have accepted the maximum prison sentence of 15 years and 9 months demanded by the prosecution. The court also revealed that the accused had already paid “a good part” of the €300,000 compensation demanded by the prosecutors to Romina Celeste’s family.
Until yesterday, Diáz had always maintained that he had returned home to find his wife dead and, under the influence of drugs, had disposed of her body by attempting to burn it on a barbecue, then dismembering it and throwing it into the sea. The only remnant of the body that was discovered was a fragment of lung tissue.
Zaballos also criticized a failure to activate domestic violence protocols after Romina was badly beaten by Díaz three days before her death. She attended the hospital emergency department and was sent to the waiting room for treatment. While waiting, Díaz arrived and took her home. “If the protocols had been followed, Romina may still be alive,” said Zaballos.
Romina’s mother, Mirian Rodríguez, has been present at the trial and told press that she hoped Díaz might reveal information as to the whereabouts of her daughter’s body. “Then we can take her hone,” she said.
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