“It is shameful that Mari Luz’s father has brought himself to complain,” was the reaction of Clarence Mitchell, the spokesman for the McCann couple, in response to the request from Juan Jose Cortés that the posters with the photo of his daughter beside Madeleine should not be distributed.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Santiago del Valle claims he has no idea what happened to Mari Luz Cortés

By m.p. - Feb 16, 2011 - 5:52 PM

He said at his trial that he previously confessed to dumping the 5 year old's body because of pressure from police
Santiago del Valle - EFE archive

The convicted paedophile on trial for the murder of 5 year old Mari Luz Cortés has gone back on his previous statements and now says he has ‘no idea of what happened to the child’.

Santiago del Valle took the stand at the Huelva provincial court on Wednesday, on the first day of the trial where he faces 23 years in prison for sexual abuse and murder. He originally admitted to dumping the child’s body after she accidentally died from falling down some stairs, but told the court on Wednesday that his previous statement was because of pressure from the police.

‘If anyone can prove that I was with her, let them,’ RTVE Spanish National Television quotes.

He said he was out with a walk with his wife on the day Mari Luz disappeared, January 13 2008, and only learnt that she was missing when he returned home 3 hours later, at 7.30 that evening. It was then, he said, that he discovered that the youngster’s family had been inside his house.

His sister, Rosa del Valle, is also charged in the case. She refused to answer any questions in court, limiting herself to confirming the statement she previously made to the investigating court, Instruction Court No. 1 in Huelva. She said at that time that on the day Mari Luz disappeared she had taken her brother shopping to a local shopping centre, and had seen no signs of nervousness in either her brother or his wife. She also stated that she had not seen the 5 year old girl.

Rosa del Valle faces a possible 17 years in prison.

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