The Supreme Court confirms the sentence of eight years in prison to the owner of the boat in which the Sephora girl died

The supreme court has upheld the conviction of eight years in prison imposed on the patron who governed the boat in which 13-month-old Ivorian baby Sahe Sephora Penielle died in 2019, the first victim of the boats in Canary Islands who was buried with her name and surname after more than two decades living with this type of misfortune on the islands.

The Supreme confirms that the defendant, the Moroccan Abdullah W., is guilty of a crime against the rights of foreign citizens and of two reckless homicides, that of Sephora and the one of Justine Senekoke, a woman who drowned in the same accident and whose daughter was left under the guardianship of the canarian government.

The events took place on the night of May 16, 2019 in the area of The Marañuelas, when a small boat with about 30 occupants was approaching a point on the coast near the port of Arguineguín.

The defendant hastily executed the maneuver to approach land, causing the baby to fall into the sea

When they approached Gran Canaria, the defendant “hastily and riskily executed the maneuver to approach the ground, which caused the ship to collide with a rock and some people to fall into the sea.” As a result of the collision, they drowned baby Sephora, who slipped into the water from the scarf carried by her mother, a protected witness for the prosecution, and Justine Senekoke, a woman traveling with another little girl. A third woman also fell into the sea but her fate is unknown because her body did not appear.

Although the conviction had already been upheld on appeal by the Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands, the defense appealed to the Supreme Court to allege that their client had been convicted without evidence and with violation of their rights. Specifically, Abdallah W. maintained that he did not skipper that boat but had arrived in the Canary Islands some time before.

However, the Supreme Court gives full validity to the testimonies of the six occupants of the boat who testified before the investigating judge, with the condition of protected witnesses, that it was he who governed the boat and who left it to its fate when they approached the coast, as well as the evidence collected by the Police that corroborate it.

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