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Witnesses place murder suspect’s car at scene of crime

Bahrain News
Mon, 16 Apr 2018

WITNESSES have reportedly placed a Bahraini man outside the apartment of a woman the night he is accused of stabbing her to death, a court heard.

The 28-year-old defendant appeared in the High Criminal Court yesterday, where he previously pleaded not guilty to premeditated murder and violating his victim’s body.

He has been accused of brutally slaying the 38-year-old woman and gouging her eye out in her Busaiteen apartment on August 29 last year.

The victim has been identified in court documents as Gina Canete Calico, from the Philippines, but also went by the name Zairah Canete.

Ms Calico’s body was not discovered until September 1 when one of her friends called the authorities after being unable to contact her.

A police first lieutenant said the defendant was arrested based on evidence gathered and witnesses identifying his car, a white Honda Civic, outside the woman’s apartment building on the night of the murder.

“I carried out an investigation into the case during which I uncovered that witnesses saw his white Honda vehicle outside the apartment building,” the 26-year-old Bahraini said in his statement to the Public Prosecution.

“(The investigation) also showed that the defendant was in a relationship with the victim.

“The defendant was arrested and confessed to carrying out the murder (during questioning).

“He was also taken to the Psychiatric Hospital.”

Defence lawyer Younis Zakariya argued in court yesterday that his client was suffering from a mental illness and should not be held responsible for his actions.

He also requested the court to summon the head of a medical panel at the Psychiatric Hospital for cross-examination.

“Your honour, the testimony of the head of the medical panel who examined my client at the Psychiatric Hospital is very important,” he said in court.

“She was supposed to attend (yesterday’s hearing), but failed to appear.

“I, therefore, request for her to be brought to the next hearing because she claimed my client is to be held responsible for his actions.

“However, my client suffers from a mental illness and has been receiving medical treatment at the Psychiatric Hospital for years.”

The GDN previously reported that the defendant underwent a psychiatric evaluation following the murder, which determined that he was not suffering from any mental illness.

Immediately after killing his victim the defendant allegedly went to his home, in Sanabis, where he showered, put on his dead father’s clothes and then tried to strangle another woman.

The defendant, who works in a restaurant kitchen, said during questioning that he met the victim through his ex-girlfriend, who moved back to the Philippines.

He claimed to have previously helped her by giving her BD240 to cover her rent and another BD20 to buy food.

However, he claimed he had not been himself since his father died on July 31, a few weeks before he allegedly committed the murder.

His brother, aged 40, earlier described how he found the defendant at home covered in blood – and then had to intervene to stop him strangling the second victim in the street.

He also told investigators he believed the defendant contributed to their father’s death, but did not elaborate further. The trial was adjourned to April 30 for the medical expert to attend the hearing.

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