José Bretón trial: jury sworn in for missing Córdoba kids case

Defense lawyer: “My client is not capable of hurting anyone" Prosecutor "in no doubt" accused murdered his two children

A photograph of José Bretón in the courtroom taken from the pressroom TV screen.
A photograph of José Bretón in the courtroom taken from the pressroom TV screen.Juan Manuel Vacas (EL PAÍS)

Jurors at the trial of José Bretón on Monday heard the lead prosecutor state that she had “no doubt” that the accused had killed his two children in “the cruelest manner.”

“This man sitting next to me is a killer,” added Ángeles Rojas, a specialist in gender violence cases.

Bretón was arrested in October 2011 and charged with murdering Ruth, six, and José, two years old, after a huge search operation failed to locate the children. Bretón maintains the children went missing in a park in Córdoba and reported this to the police at the time. A search of his family’s home later turned up human bone fragments inside a home-made incinerator on the semi-rural property.

“Bretón is not as bad as he is being made out,” his defense lawyer, José María Sánchez de Puerta told the jury. “José Bretón is not capable of hurting anybody.” Sánchez also protested the decision to have a jury trial. “I do not believe there is a single person who has not been contaminated by the media importance of this case. My client has been crucified in a parallel trial.”

Prosecutors are seeking 40 years for Bretón, who is suspected by investigators of killing his children in an act of revenge against his wife, Ruth Ortiz, for leaving him.

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