Friend who helped Sampedro die faces charges

27th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

27 January 2005, MADRID- A Spanish woman who admitted assisting the suicide of a tetraplegic ex-sailor whose struggle for a dignified death was immortalised in the Oscar-nominated blockbuster "The Sea Inside", faces a criminal investigation.

27 January 2005

MADRID- A Spanish woman who admitted assisting the suicide of a tetraplegic ex-sailor whose struggle for a dignified death was immortalised in the Oscar-nominated blockbuster "The Sea Inside", faces a criminal investigation.

Ramona Maneiro must appear before a judge in the northern region of Galicia next month, the Galician branch of the Association for the Right to Die with Dignity said, adding it would back her all the way.

Ramon Sampedro, played by Javier Bardem in the film which has proved a massive international hit, became paralysed aged just 25 after crashing onto rocks in an accident and asked the Spanish authorities to let him die after spending 28 years as an invalid.

In desperation, the sailor decided to end his days by taking cyanide with the help of close friends, including Maneiro.

According to the Association, 12 people were involved, aside from Sampedro.

"He guided me; I was his hands," 44-year-old Maneiro told Tele Cinco earlier this month as she recounted how she helped to administer cyanide to Sampedro.

Maneiro, who was regularly at Sampedro's side during his final months, was arrested after helping with the suicide but a legal case against her collapsed without a conviction.

"The only new thing to emerge on top of the investigation closed in 2000 is that it is she who administered the glass of cyanide," said the Association, which added it does not believe the case will be reopened.

She told Tele Cinco that Sampedro, who died on January 12,1998, "will always be in my heart."

Amenabar's movie was last week nominated in the Best Foreign-Language Film category Academy Awards.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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