Julen: Police chief defends rescue team

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The captain of the Guardia Civil has strongly defended the professionalism of the team who battled to reach Julen, following allegations rescue attempts could have harmed the boy.

Salvador Jimenez told Spanish media he had not heard the allegations made by David Serrano, the owner of the plot where Julen fell down a borehole in January, but praised the work of rescuers.

At a court case investigating possible negligent manslaughter, Serrano’s lawyers told a court two-year-old Julen could have been killed by initial efforts to reach him.

The defence team have handed the court a report claiming the child could have been alive after his 71-metre fall and instead killed by a long instrument reportedly used by rescuers to try to move a presumed blockage in the well.

Lawyers claimed hairs allegedly found on the tool could show it had harmed the boy’s head.

The Malaga court is now investigating the claims but sources told Spanish media the hypothesis is unlikely since no blood is said to have been found on the instrument.

David Serrano is so far the only person who has officially been named as under investigation, while several others have been called as witnesses, including Antonio Sanchez, the man who reportedly drilled the borehole.

According to Serrano’s lawyers, the investigation could later widen to include others.

Also appearing as witnesses are Julen’s parents, Jose Rosello and Victoria Sanchez, David Serrano’s wife, and three hikers who were in the area when the incident occurred and who were the first to help the family.

Engineers and members of the Guardia Civil team first called to help will also be asked to testify.

Serrano reportedly claimed Antonio Sanchez left the borehole uncovered after drilling and that he later covered the hole himself with concrete blocks.