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CRIME

‘Stepmother’ jailed for life in Spain for killing 8-year-old Gabriel

A Dominican woman was sentenced Monday to life in prison in Spain for murdering the eight-year-old son of her Spanish partner in a case that shocked the country.

'Stepmother' jailed for life in Spain for killing 8-year-old Gabriel
Ana Julia Quezada was found guilty of killing Gabriel Cruz and hiding his body.

A jury in Almeria in southern Spain last month found Ana Julia Quezada guilty of killing the boy, who was the son of her then partner Angel Cruz.  A court on Monday handed down a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years, the stiffest possible jail term under Spanish law.   

Gabriel Cruz disappeared on February 27, 2018, after visiting his grandmother in Las Hortichuelas, a village near the coast 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of Almeria.

His disappearance triggered a massive search involving hundreds of volunteers which lasted nearly two weeks.

But on March 11th, the police discovered the boy's body in the boot of a car belonging to Quezada, who had been seen taking part in the search, wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with his face and speaking to reporters in tears.

He had been asphyxiated, according to the court.

Investigators began to suspect Quezada after she found a shirt belonging to the boy near the village in an area which police had searched twice.   

The case received nationwide attention after a missing person's alert went viral. An image of a blue fish — inspired by Gabriel's love of the sea — was shared on social media with the hashtag #TodosSomosGabriel, meaning “we are all Gabriel”.


Carla Navarro/ Twitter

During the trial Quezada said she had accidentally killed the boy when she covered his mouth in an attempt to silence him.

The court also ordered her to pay €250,000  ($273,000) each to the boy's mother and father for “psychological damages”, as well as €200,203 to the Spanish state to cover the costs of the search for the child.   

“Psychopaths should be locked away, far from society, so they can't hurt anyone,” the boy's father told reporters last month after the jury found her guilty.

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CRIME

Spain arrests 11 suspected jihadists in Melilla and Granada

Moroccan and Spanish police have dismantled a jihadist cell suspected of links to the Islamic State group, officials said Tuesday.

Spain arrests 11 suspected jihadists in Melilla and Granada

The operation led to the arrest of 11 people in raids on Tuesday morning: nine in the Spanish enclave of Melilla on Morocco’s northern coast, and another two in the nearby town of Nador, according to a Moroccan police statement.

Spanish security sources said 10 people had been arrested in Melilla and another in the southern Spanish city of Granada.

The Moroccan police said the two suspects held in Nador, aged 34 and 39, were remanded in custody and that mobile phones and a computer had been seized.

The detainees were suspected of “promoting extremist ideology” online “in order to recruit people in terrorist organisations”, the same source said.

Morocco and Spain officially revived their security cooperation in April after mending fences following a year-long diplomatic row over the Western Sahara.

The Moroccan police regularly announce operations against jihadist cells, and reports having arrested more than 3,500 people in relation to “terrorism” since 2002.

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