The Spanish lawyer representing the family of Barcelona dentist Mario Yela, accused of killing his three-year-old twins in Hout Bay earlier this month, says the family feel he is “incapable” of carrying out the murders.
The twins, Maximo and Octavia Yela, were discovered by their mother and Mr Yela’s ex-wife, Julia Engelhorn, at the Princess Beach complex on Thursday April 6. Mr Yela was later arrested in Wynberg.
Spanish media have picked up on the case in the past week, and in a report that appeared in Spanish daily La Vanguardia on Friday April 21, the family’s lawyer, Maria Victoria Jacas, questioned many of the details that have appeared in the South African media.
She told the paper that the family were “dismayed”, and there was nothing to corroborate the facts of the case as they had been explained in the local media. She said the family did not even have a copy of the charge sheet.
While Ms Jacas confirmed that Mr Yela had been injured “in the abdomen”, she doubted that he had tried to commit suicide as had been widely speculated.
She said being a medical professional, if he wanted to commit suicide he would know how to do it.
The report said Mr Yela’s family were in Cape Town to establish Mr Yela’s condition as well as details of the investigation. However, they were not able to establish what lines of investigation police were pursuing.
Ms Jacas had not responded to correspondence sent by the Sentinel at the time of going to press.
Mr Yela’s defence lawyer, William Booth, has argued that his client needs urgent medical attention and has suicidal tendencies.
The accused made his first actual appearance in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday April 25. He was not present during his first or second appearance due to his injuries. The case was postponed until Wednesday May 10, at which time a psychiatric assess ment of Mr Yela is expected to be completed.
He will continue to be detained in Pollsmoor Prison’s medical wing.