Natalia Melmann was 15 years old when she was assassinated
After the start of a new trial for the fourth police officer accused of the murder of Natalia Melmann, an expert assured that the DNA analysis of a pubic hair found on the victim’s body showed a 97% compatibility with the genetic profile of the accused.
In his testimony, Gustavo Penacino, a biochemical expert on behalf of the prosecution representing the victim’s family, declared before the Oral Criminal Court 4 of the city of Mar del Plata that there are “33 times more chances” that the sample analyzed belongs to the defendant than to another person. In this sense, Penacino understood that the court in charge of the first trial of former sergeant Ricardo Panadero, in which he was unanimously acquitted in July 2018, misinterpreted this incrimination index, contemplating ”33 as a percentage”. The specialist reviewed the studies carried out in the case by the La Plata Expert Advisory and established that statistically “it is 33 times more likely” that the accused former sergeant “is the individual who provided the sample, than the general population”, and that index translates into a “97.05% compatibility” with your genetic profile.
On the opposite side, the defense, headed by the lawyer Lautaro Resúa, questioned this element when questioning the witness, and recalled that another official expert who intervened in the case had described the margin of error of 3% as “very high”. .
Natalia Melmann’s father asks for justice for his daughter (Matías Arbotto)
It may interest you: Femicide of Natalia Melmann: today begins the new trial of the fourth police officer accused of murder
The defense strategy was to establish the request that the expert María Lojo, from the Expert Advisory, testify, who maintained in the first trial that this DNA study was inconclusive.
In this sense, the lawyers Yamil Castro Bianchi and Federico Paruolo, who represent Natalia’s parents -Gustavo Melmann and Laura Calampuca- as an individual victim, asked that Penacino be made available to the court to intervene again on the third day , in case it is necessary to complement the declaration of Lojo.
On the other hand, the hearing this Wednesday, which took place on the first floor of the Mar del Plata courts, also included the statement of a neighbor from Mar del Sud, a town located south of Miramar, who recalled that after the disappearance of Natalia , Baker had made a comment about a jacket found, while a similar garment of the victim still did not appear.
The crime of the adolescent Natalia Melmann, which occurred on February 4, 2001 in the seaside resort of Miramar
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The last testimony of the day was that of a taxi driver, who on the night of the crime claimed to have seen the minor with some friends, around 3:30 in the nightclub area, and that that morning he greeted him when Panadero passed by, but without remember exactly where.
The judicial process will continue tomorrow with the testimonies of the witnesses proposed by the defender, and on Friday the parties will present their arguments before judges Néstor Conti, Mariana Iriani and Juan Galarreta.
Resúa in turn announced that Panadero, accused of “illegitimate deprivation of liberty aggravated by the use of violence, sexual abuse aggravated by carnal access and by the participation of two or more people and aggravated homicide by the participation of two or more people and criminis causa”, will not provide a statement.
The former sergeant is the fourth police officer accused of the crime that shocked Miramar and the country in the 2001 summer season, but his case was not part of the trial in which the other three -Oscar Echenique (63), Ricardo Anselmini (55 ) and Ricardo Suárez (60) – were sentenced to life imprisonment, in September 2002, because it was dismissed earlier.
At the first hearing, a witness whose identity was reserved, who was 13 years old at the time of the crime, assured, meanwhile, that he had seen four policemen force the 15-year-old teenager into a police vehicle at the crossroads 6 and 35.
Femicide of Natalia Melmann: today the new trial of the fourth police officer accused of murder begins