CRIME

Many clues but no conclusive proof at Asunta Basterra murder trial

Experts unsure if earth and rope found near body match those in mother’s car and home Toxicologist says 12-year-old had ingested at least 27 anti-anxiety pills before her death

Santiago de Compostela -
Rosario Porto and Alfonso Basterra have been charged with killing their daughter Asunta.
Rosario Porto and Alfonso Basterra have been charged with killing their daughter Asunta.ÓSCAR CORRAL

There was a lot of circumstantial evidence and no conclusive proof on day 12 of the Asunta Basterra murder trial, which is trying to determine whether the 12-year-old was killed by her adoptive parents, the main suspects in the case

Investigators believe that the parents had planned Asunta’s death for months.

Up to 60 experts have been called in to testify in the case of the mysterious death of the 12-year-old girl

Chemistry experts from the Civil Guard’s criminology department on Thursday told the jury that they cannot prove that the ropes found near the child’s body on a dirt track in a rural area of Galicia were the same as those found inside the parents’ nearby home.

Nor could they conclude whether the earth found under the driver’s seat in Rosario Porto’s car, where Asunta was last spotted by surveillance cameras at a gas station in Santiago de Compostela, was the same as that on that stretch of track in the outlying village of Teo.

Finally, experts were unable to ascertain suspicions that a personal computer belonging to Asunta’s father was deliberately withheld from investigators for three months and manipulated to delete all traces of activity by Alfonso Basterra.

The computer was found in late December 2013, when Asunta had been dead since September 21. A Civil Guard expert said that tens of thousands of files had been deleted, but that just as many remained.

Up to 60 experts have been called in to testify in the case of the mysterious death of a 12-year-old girl who has been described by friends and teachers as an overachiever who seemed to get along very well with her parents, a lawyer and a journalist. Asunta was born in China and adopted at the age of one.

Since her arrest in late 2013, the mother has given investigators conflicting accounts about the girl’s whereabouts in the days before she was killed.

English version by Susana Urra.

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