Thirty and 10 years asked for ‘Mars’ investigation suspects | THE DAILY HERALD

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PHILIPSBURG–“Mars” investigation suspects T.J.F. (29) and K.K.K.S. (33) were tried in Court on Wednesday, as the Prosecutor’s Office holds them responsible for involvement in the murder of two young men on December 5, 2016.

The bodies of Luis David Sarante Diaz and Erwin “Eggy” Rosario Contreras, who were both 23 years old when they were killed, were discovered in Little Bay Pond near Belair on August 1, 2017.

The Prosecutor presented evidence to prove T.J.F.’s involvement in Diaz’s murder, the aggravated manslaughter of Contreras and the removal of their bodies, as well as illegal firearm possession. The Prosecutor also presented evidence of suspect K.K.K.S.’ complicity in the incident. A 30-year prison sentence was demanded for T.F. and 10-years imprisonment for K.K.K.S.

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‘Mars’ investigation

The “Mars” investigation was started following a missing-person report filed by Diaz’s girlfriend. As the investigation progressed one of the suspects directed detectives to the location where the bodies had been dumped. The investigation also revealed that the two victims were killed in a room at Simpson Bay Resort. As a result of the investigation, main suspect K.F. (41), his brother T.J.F. and his ex-girlfriend K.K.K.S. were arrested.

K.F. is presently serving prison time in The Netherlands for a murder he committed some years ago. His trial in the “Mars” investigation took place at the District Court of Arnhem, The Netherlands, on March 1, during which he was also tried for escaping from the Pointe Blanche prison on February 15, 2016.

The Prosecutor stated that based on evidence provided by statements of two other suspects, surveillance-camera images, telephone conversations and DNA samples found in the hotel room, it could be concluded that K.F. had robbed the victims of an undisclosed amount of jewellery after killing them and dumping their bodies in Little Bay Pond. For these crimes the Prosecutor’s Office demanded a life sentence.

During his trial. K.F. took all responsibility for the men’s deaths and said he had dealt them both a blow with the butt of his gun. He claimed his two co-defendants had nothing to do with the victims’ deaths.

However, this statement did not match with other evidence, according to the Prosecutor. “In taking all guilt upon himself the suspect wants to take the heat off his brother and the mother of his child.”

‘Bulky waste’

K.F. is held responsible for killing the two men, but as to why and how the Prosecutor considered his statement “totally incredible for lack of support from the case file.”

Apparently, the two victims were lured to the resort to meet K.F. in connection with a deal or exchange involving pieces of jewellery, but, in fact, K.F. allegedly was looking for revenge in retaliation for a rip deal in which he had been involved, the Prosecution believes.

The Prosecutor found it proven that the victims’ jewels were taken by force which had caused the two men’s deaths. T.J.F. and K.K.K.S. had assisted in bringing the victims to the apartment. K.K.K.S. had been on the lookout, all three had cleaned the room and T.J.F. and K.K.K.S. both had assisted K.F. in transporting the bodies to Belair, the Prosecutor said.

The Prosecutor said the second victim had been killed because the perpetrators did not want any witnesses. Diaz’s girlfriend narrowly escaped the same fate as she managed to drive away in the car in which she had been waiting for the two victims’ return.

The Prosecutor called for lengthy prison sentences considering the “brute and cruel” nature of the alleged crimes, in which the suspects had shown “no respect whatsoever for human lives” and had dumped their victims’ bodies in the lagoon as if they were “bulky waste.”

Undue delay

Both lawyers stated there had been undue delays in their clients’ cases. On behalf of T.F., attorney-at-law Safira Ibrahim filed a formal objection against the undue delay, which in her eyes should lead to the Prosecutor’s Office’s case against her client being declared inadmissible.

The lawyer said T.F. should be acquitted of murder, aggravated manslaughter and removal of the two bodies, and pleaded with the Court to take her client’s personal circumstances into consideration where the firearm possession was concerned.

Ibrahim said the Prosecutor’s Office had done everything it could to paint her client as a criminal and a “monster, just like his brother, but he is just a normal young man who worked with the fire brigade.”

She said all he had done was to comply with the instructions of his brother, who was on the run, and of whom he was afraid.

As little had remained of the two men, who had been missing since December 2016, Ibrahim said investigations by the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) had failed to establish how the men were killed, as only their bones were found and no organs or tissue.

According to Ibrahim, it was “plausible” that the two men were still alive when they were taken from the hotel room and thrown into the bushes in Belair. Considering the bricks and a piece of rope that were found near their mortal remains, the lawyer said it had apparently been the intention to sink the bundles in which the men were wrapped.

Attorney Geert Hatzmann said K.K.K.S. had not deliberately aided her co-suspects in their crimes. He said that fear and emotions had kept her from distancing herself from her “worked up” and aggressive co-defendants.

“My client did not know what exactly was going to happen at the resort, let alone that people were to get robbed or killed,” the lawyer said in rejecting claims that his client had deliberately cooperated in the scheme.

He called on the Court to acquit his client on psychological grounds. He said the woman was of low intelligence and, therefore, vulnerable and influenceable. In considering that K.F., her ex-partner and the father of her child, is a highly dangerous person, the lawyer stated that his client could not have acted differently.

The Judge will give his decisions in all three cases on June 5.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/87539-thirty-and-10-years-asked-for-mars-investigation-suspects

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