Spain: Diplomat probed in Brazil killing could lose immunity

AP News
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Posted: May 13, 2015 5:54 PM

MADRID (AP) — Spain's foreign minister said Wednesday that the security chief for the country's embassy in Brazil, under investigation in his wife's death, could lose diplomatic immunity if the probe determines that the case is domestic violence.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo declined to provide details about what Spain has learned about the investigation into the death of Jesus Figon's wife, Rosemary Justino Lopes, who died of knife wounds.

But he told reporters Spain will not allow "diplomatic immunity to serve as an alibi in incidents as severe as domestic violence" and would strip Figon of the immunity if evidence proves domestic violence as the case unfolds.

Later Wednesday, Brazilian police inspector Adroaldo Lopes said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press that Figon has admitted killing his wife, but told authorities he acted in self-defense after she attacked him drunk with the knife.

Figon was questioned by police in the southeastern Brazilian city of Vitoria where the killing happened and was released Tuesday night to a Spanish official who arrived to pick him up.

Lopes said he has sent information about the case to Spanish officials and to Interpol to determine how it should proceed considering Figon's diplomatic immunity.

Figon was the police chief for a Madrid suburb before his assignment in 2012 to Spain's embassy in Brazil's capital of Brasilia in 2012.

His wife was Brazilian but also held Spanish citizenship, Brazilian media reported.

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Associated Press writer Adriana Gomez in Rio de Janeiro contributed to this report.