Cyanide friend a 'murderer': Sampedro family

11th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

11 January 2005, MADRID-The family of a disabled sailor whose controversial death provoked a national debate has labelled a friend who admitted giving him poison so he could kill himself a "murderer".

11 January 2005

MADRID-The family of a disabled sailor whose controversial death provoked a national debate has labelled a friend who admitted giving him poison so he could kill himself a "murderer".

The story of Ramón Sampedro, a tetraplegic sailor who eventually killed himself, was made into a film by Alejandro Amenabar last year, which has been nominated for an Oscar.

The film, Mar Adentro (The Sea Inside) filled cinemas across Spain and brought demands for a change in the law on euthanasia.

Sampedro, paralysed from the neck down by a diving accident at 25, became famous, and adored by many women in Spain, because of his long and doomed battle for permission to kill himself.

He was finally helped to kill himself by a mystery person in 1998.

But Ramona Maneiro admitted on Spain's Telecinco television channel that she had given him the poison that he took to end his life.

She said she passed him a glass with cyanide which he used to take his life.

Maneiro, a euthanasia campaigner, was arrested after Sampedro's death but no charges were brought. It was not clear if she will now be re-arrested.

Manuela Sonles, sister-in-law of Sampedro, told a programme on the Spanish Telecinco channel her confession did not come as a surprise.
 
"All the world knew she was the killer of Sanpedro and if she has now told the truth, it has been for money or to make her famous, " she said.

Mar Adentro, starring Javier Bardem, is becoming a hit and won a Silver Lion award at the Venice festival.  

Among those flocking to see it in Spain, were most of the Spanish cabinet and prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

Zapatero came under pressure to follow the Dutch and Belgian examples by legalising euthanasia.

Spain's Catholic church is adamantly opposed to the idea.

Senior members of Zapatero's party, backed by some opposition parties and pressure groups, want him to deliver on an election pledge and set up a parliamentary committee to investigate the issue.

Salvador Paniker, president of Spain's Right To Die With Dignity group, said polls showed 70 percent of Spaniards favoured legalising euthanasia. "The people's opinion on this is way ahead of that of the politicians, who have decided to look in the opposite direction," said Paniker.

But disabled groups have attacked the film.

María del Mar Cogollos, president of a Spanish spinal injuries association, said "He never managed to come to terms with his condition. This film will do a lot of harm to tetraplegics like myself who fight daily to get on with life."

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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