“The defense is trying to delegitimize us,” says Kathleen Romeo’s mother, after the hearing was postponed.

After nearly three hours of listening, the trial of the five military police officers implicated in the death of interior designer Kathleen Romeo has been postponed to June 27. They are accused of procedural fraud (to alter crime scenes) and perjury, but could not be tried at Monday’s hearing due to the absence of a police defense witness, alleging health problems. Kathleen was 24 years old and died after being shot in the chest from a rifle during a military police operation in Complexo de Lens, in the northern region of Rio, on June 8, 2021.

On June 27, Judge Bruno Vaccari will hear six people at the Rio State Court of Justice (TJRJ): the five defendants – those responsible for procedural fraud (to alter crime scenes) and a perjury – and the witness who remained to testify.

On Monday, Judge Bruno Vaccari heard Kathleen’s mother, father and grandmother, as well as four of the five witnesses who defended the prime ministers. In June, he will hear the five defendants and the fifth witness.

Jacqueline Oliveira, Kathleen’s mother, believes this absence is a defensive strategy to overburden the family and prolong the case further.

mother rant: ‘The police weren’t shot, my daughter was shot’

– It was only after our voice was heard and we were released that we learned (that the witness wouldn’t). Their defense tries to tire us out to delegitimize our words: they listen to what we have to say, and they try to find loopholes to interpret it their way and use it against us. Even with all the evidence, they are still at large. Evidence not requested by the state, but witnesses, video clips and families. My daughter was pregnant. In addition to not being able to live in peace, young people from the parties no longer have the right to create life.”

The hearing was scheduled for April 11, but due to a procedural failure, it had to be postponed: the lot to determine the group of judges considered that all the accused were soldiers, but one of them was a captain. Since the group should consist of military personnel of higher ranks than the accused, the court held a new lottery.

Kathleen’s father also said he believed the absence of a witness was a defensive ploy.

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Kathleen de Oliveira Romeo was 24 years old and pregnant when she was hit by a stray bullet at Complexo do Lins
Kathleen de Oliveira Romeo was 24 and pregnant when she was hit by a stray bullet at Complexo de Linz Photo: Disclosure

– In the first delay, they had about five months to determine the error. Now, a missing witness. It’s impossible not to find everything strange to say the least. “We are still unable to practice our mourning,” said Luciano Gonçalves.

On December 17, the military judiciary accepted the Public Prosecution’s complaint against the five prime ministers. Soldiers Claudio da Silva Scanvilla, Marcos da Silva Salviano, Rafael Chaves de Oliveira and Rodrigo Correia de Frias are responsible for two procedural fraud and two perjury crimes. Captain Gunderson Cory Sodry, the sole official accused, became the defendant for procedural fraud in the form of omission.

Civil police investigations indicated that the bullet that killed Kathleen came from a prime minister’s rifle. Two agents, when testifying at the homicide police station, admitted to shooting during the operation.

insurgency: “Kathleen is not the first and we know she won’t be the last,” said a protester

According to the complaint, the four squares removed material that was in the place where the pregnant woman was shot before the experts arrived. Then they left 12 empty cartridges and a rifle magazine at the scene. The material was handed over to the 26 DP (All Saints) to simulate the confrontation, which is a procedural fraud offense.

After being shot, Kathleen de Oliveira Romeo was taken to Salgado Filho Municipal Hospital, in Miere, but she did not survive her injuries. According to the municipal health department, Kathleen arrived at the hospital lifeless.

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