Today's hearing began with the possibility of another suspension hanging over it. Police Commissioner Henry Osorto and another witness, known to the court as Protected Witness 2 (PW2), have refused to appear to testify, stating that Trujillo was too unsafe for them. Their rationale being that since their family was killed in Trujillo there are people still plotting to kill them. Nevermind that Osorto is now a Commissioner in the National Police and has the resources to order police from everywhere in the country, there is not enough security in Trujillo for him.
The Defense pointed out that the security concerns weren't credible plus there isn't any proof that Osorto has received threats. In addition, the Defence pointed out that the law stipulates that no one is entitled to preferential treatment including members of the police or military.
Each time that the court has requested their appearence the response from the Prosecutor has changed with Osorto's excuses increasing in intensity. At the beginning of the trial his reason was that he was bothered by the fact that there was a retrial and that he couldn't give a specific date for when he would appear. The hearings were suspended to accomadate his schedule and when reconvened he was now fearful for his safety. When the court didn't capitulate to these blatant manipulations there were suddenly threats against him and the other witness.
The judges weren't buying it. They decided that there would not be another suspension of the trial nor a change of venue. The case would proceed as scheduled.
The morning session concluded after less than an hour and with the decision that after lunch the Defence could present their witnesses.
When the hearing reconvened, three witnesses testified for the Defense collaborating Chabelo's statements that he got to the scene after the deaths had occurred. The first witness was the photographer who had taken the photo that Henry Osorto and the Prosecutor's office had manufactured the case around. His testimony corroborated Chabelo's statements that he was there to retrieve the body of a friend that had been killed by shots fired from the Osorto house. When the witness arrived he saw Chabelo on a bicycle in a crowd of people about 100 km from the Osorto house. The house was already in flames. He snapped the photo of Chabelo just as the dead friend's body was being moved to a car to return to the community.
The other two witnesses corroborated Chabelo's story of being in the community in the late afternoon and went to the scene of the incident when the wife of the friend who had died was pleading for him to help bring the friend home.
This concluded the Defense's evidence. The judges asked the Prosecutor if there had been any changes regarding Osorto and PW2 appearing. Suddenly, Trujillo wasn't the dangerous place that it had been just this morning as the Prosecutor stated that Osorto and PW2 would appear tomorrow. We'll see.
Whether they do or not, tomorrow should be the last day of the trial as both sides have presented their cases short the testimonies of the no shows. The court has stated that they will not entertain any more manipulations. We shall see.