The defense lawyer for a man accused of murdering his DJ girlfriend in Colombia has resigned from the case because his life has been threatened – while the court interpreter also stepped down over inaccurate translations.
Martín Riascos, who has been representing American John Poulos, 35, made the shocking request to resign prior to the start of Tuesday’s hearing in Bogotá.
Riascos said the threats began shortly after Poulos was formally charged by the prosecution for killing Valentina Trespalacios, 23, whose body was found inside a suitcase after he allegedly tossed it into a dumpster on January 22 and fled to Panamá the same day.
‘Since last Wednesday, January 25, 2023, on my social networks, in person, by phone calls and by all means, I have received threats,’ Riascos told the judge.’So much so that I have decided not to answer my phone or open messages from unknown people.’
Poulos also told the judge that he ‘would like to change interpreters’ after the court’s appointed translator, Martha Morales, struggled to accurately perform her role, stumbling on legal terms and mispronouncing words – a problem which could nullify the case.
Martín Riascos (pictured) appeared during Tuesday’s hearing and announced he would no longer be the attorney representing John Poulos because he had received death threats
An autopsy report showed that Colombian DJ Valentina Trespalacios was strangled and beaten
John Poulos (center) is facing charges of femicide and concealment of evidence in connection to the death of his Colombian DJ girlfriend, Valentina Trespalacios, whose body he allegedly stuffed in a suitcase and abandoned in a dumpster January 22 after beating and strangling her
On Tuesday, lawyer Riascos said: ‘Ironically, I asked for security only for who up to that moment was my client, but neither the judiciary nor anyone else thought about all the problems that all this was causing me and my personal life.’
Riascos added that Poulos had also asked him to step down as his representative.Defense attorney Juan Fallas has now taken over his legal representation.
According to Riascos, Poulos’ decision drop him as his lawyer was not a ploy from the accused said to delay the proceedings.
Poulos is facing aggravated femicide and concealment of evidence charges in a case that has shocked the South American nation.
John Poulos (center) attended Tuesday’s hearing, which was adjourned to Wednesday after court appointed interpreter Martha Morales (right) quit. Juan Fallas (left) was introduced Tuesday as Poulos’ new attorney after Martín Riascos stepped down due to death threats
Interpreter Martha Morales has encountered problems with the simultaneous translations for all parties involved during the first two hearings because Poulos is not fluent in Spanish.
Her role was to provide translations for the judge, Lawyer istanbul prosecution and for the attorney’s representing Poulos and Trespalacios.
But in both live hearings viewed online by DailyMail.com, it was clear that Morales has been unable to provide an accurate translation. For those who have any kind of inquiries concerning in which in addition to the best way to utilize Lawyer istanbul, Lawyer istanbul you’ll be able to e-mail us in our own web-site. On multiple occasions she has taken long pauses to gather her thoughts, often fumbling the legal terms, and has constantly mispronounced words.
There have been several instances where she asked the judge to stop because she did not know how to properly translate.
Attorney Ricardo Burgos told Caracol TV on Monday that he feared that Morales’ inability to translate could hinder the case going forward.
He slammed the court for pausing the hearings several times to provide Poulos a summary of that has just been said despite Morales’ translations.
‘The Supreme Court of Justice has established that translations to a person must be comprehensive and that this clearly violates constitutional rights and that it nullifies everything from the moment they happened,’ he said.
Valentina Trespalacios (pictured), a DJ in Bogotá, Colombia, was allegedly murdered by her Texas boyfriend, John Poulos.Her body was found in a suitcase that was tossed into a dumpster allegedly by Poulos on January 22, the same day he purchased a flight to flee from Colombia to Panamá
Former House Speaker Paul Ryan with Ashley Poulos (left), Jackson Poulos (center) and John Poulos (right) in 2018
A homeless man was searching through a waste container in the Bogotá neighborhood of Los Cámbulos when he discovered the suitcase with Valentina Trespalacios’ body on January 22
During Friday’s hearing John Poulos (center) sat alongside his former lawyer Martín Riascos (left) and the court appointed interpreter, Martha Morales (right)
Poulos, the father of one boy and two girls in the United States, declined to plea guilty to one count of aggravated femicide and another of concealment evidence of a scene during last Friday’s hearing.
‘I am aware of my decision, and do not accept the charges,’ he said.
Poulos, who was planning on marrying Trespalacios and living in Colombia full time, arrived in Colombia on January 19 and met the following day with the electronic music DJ.
One of the mugshots of John Poulos shows that he has a large scratch on the left side of his face, perhaps a sign that his girlfriend, Valentina Trespalacios, fought for her life before she was killed
Colombian electronic music DJ Valentina Trespalacios was found dead in a dumpster on January 22
Video footage showed Poulos pushing a supermarket cart containing the suitcase in which he reportedly concealed Trespalacios’ body the morning of January 22.
He was seen placing the suitcase into the trunk of a Volkswagen Voyager in the garage of the Bogotá north side apartment building and Lawyer istanbul then driving away.
He drove to the south side of Bogotá, where he tossed the luggage bag inside a dumpster next to a park, and drove towards El Dorado International Airport.
Lead prosecutor Daniel Gómez said that Poulos threw away Trespalacios’ cellphone at the airport.
Poulos’ plan to avoid capture included the additional cash purchase of two airplane tickets, one from Panamá City to São Paulo, Brazil, to throw off the Colombian National Police’s international manhunt and a flight to Istanbul, Turkey, where he would connect to a plane to Montenegro, where there is no extradition treaty with Colombia.
Panamanian immigration agents and the Interpol arrested him January 24 night at Tocumen International Airport moments before he was about to board Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul.
Poulos told authorities in Panamá that the defunct Medellín Cartel was behind Trespalacios’ murder and wanted to kill him.