A Colombian judge sentenced this Friday 23 years and six months in prison for four people who confessed their participation in the assassination of Paraguayan prosecutor Marcelo Pecciwhile a fifth involved pleaded not guilty, judicial sources reported.
Although the initial sentence was 47 years for each of those involved, the Cartagena city judge recognized a reduction of half the sentence for accepting the charges, although he ruled out the possibility of granting them other benefits such as house arrest.
Pecci, 45, was killed in May by a gunman on a beach on the island of Barúin front of the Colombian city of Cartagena, where he was on vacation with his wife, the Paraguayan journalist Claudia Aguilera, after they got married.
The judge said that the technical evidence collected in the investigation allowed to verify the responsibility of those captured, each of whom fulfilled a specific function to commit the crime.
“Although only one person fired, which was the Venezuelan citizen, each of them did their part to reach the ultimate goal, which was to kill prosecutor Pecci,” said the judicial official, stating that without the participation of any of them, the crime could not have been specified.
Pecci’s family witnessed the hearing virtually from Paraguay and the accused apologized for the assassination.
“I want to ask the nation of Colombia and the family of Mr. Marcelo Pecci, Paraguay and the entire world to forgive me. I will not commit an act of these again, I am sorry with all my heart, “said Marisol Londoño.
The Venezuelan Wendre Still Scott, who shot the prosecutorand Eiverson Adrián Zabaleta, in charge of transportation and logistics, also apologized.
“I want to address the nation of Paraguay and apologize for what I did, I feel very sorry, I will never do it again, I also want to apologize to my country, I have embarrassed it, I have embarrassed my family and I am totally sorry. I have no words to refer to the family because I know that with these apologies I am not going to return their relative to them, ”said Cristian Monsalve.
A sixth person implicated in the crime remains at large. and apparently fled to Venezuela, according to Colombian police.
The Brazilian criminal gang First Capital Command had unsuccessfully tried to assassinate Pecci in that country, Colombian police director General Jorge Luis Vargas revealed in early June, assuring that drug trafficking related to radical terrorism could be behind the assassination.
Pecci had worked in his country on high-profile cases against money laundering and drug trafficking.. He was also in charge of the investigation into the murder of the daughter of a regional governor last year and in the case against former Brazilian soccer player Ronaldinho, arrested when he tried to enter Paraguay with a doctored passport in 2020.
The authorities of Colombia and Paraguay, with the support of the United States, are trying to identify the masterminds of the crime who paid those captured some 500,000 dollars, according to investigations. (Reuters)