Published: 15 Jan 2013 10:43 GMT+01:00 | Print version
Updated: 15 Jan 2013 10:43 GMT+01:00
A couple sentenced to life in prison for the brutal murder of a 20-year-old pregnant woman more than five years ago are seeking a reduced penalty in a Geneva court reviewing the case.
A 30-year-old man strangled the woman, identified as Loreidy, before he and his and his 32-year-old girlfriend poured gasoline on her body and burned it in a wooded area in the canton of Fribourg on November 3rd 2007.
The pair were convicted by a Geneva court but last year Switzerland’s top court ordered a review of the life sentence, arguing that it was not justified by the arguments presented.
Prosecutor Yves Bertossa has told the media that he sees no reason for clemency in the case, which is being widely followed in Switzerland.
He recalled that the murder was committed with “a premeditation that freezes the blood,” Le Matin reported.
The couple had bought two spades, lime, gasoline and gloves beforehand, Bertossa said.
The 30-year-old convicted murderer made love to the victim, who was carrying his child, in a car just before strangling her over a period of five or ten minutes, the prosecutor is quoted as saying by Le Matin.
“Nothing in their personal situation explains such acts,” he said.
“There are no extenuating circumstances.”
According to earlier press reports the man already had a one-year-old child with his girlfriend, who became jealous of his involvement with Loreidy.
They concocted the murder scheme after Loreidy refused to have an abortion, according to court testimony.
For their part, defence lawyers are seeking a little bit of “humanity” in the sentencing of the couple.
François Canonica, lawyer for the 30-year-old man, said his client had not been given the chance before to talk about his difficult upbringing in Angola, a country that was ravaged by war.
“In prison, he has completed high school matriculation in science and has begun training to become an electrical engineer,” Canonica told Le Matin.
“One can be detestable yesterday and admirable today,” he said.
The lawyer for the woman involved argued that her involvement was “relatively limited”.
A decision on a new sentence for the couple is expected on Thursday.
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