Four sentenced for murder of Paraguayan prosecutor in Colombia

Funeral service of Paraguayan prosecutor Marcelo Pecci in Asuncion
Relatives and friends stand next to the coffin holding the body of prosecutor Marcelo Pecci, who was shot dead in his honeymoon on the island of Baru in Colombia on Tuesday, during his funeral in Asuncion, Paraguay May 15, 2022. REUTERS/Cesar Olmedo

BOGOTA, June 17 (Reuters) - Four people who confessed to taking part in the murder of a Paraguayan prosecutor were each sentenced to 23 years and six months in jail on Friday.

Prosecutor Marcelo Pecci, 45, known for fighting organized crime, was shot dead on the island of Baru near the Caribbean city of Cartagena on May 10, while honeymooning with his wife. read more

Brazilian prison gang First Capital Command (PCC), a major exporter of cocaine, was involved in coordinating the murder, according to Colombian authorities, who also say the crime may be connected to international drug trafficking and "radical terrorism".

A fifth person has plead innocent, while a sixth suspect remains at large, according to Colombia's police.

The judge presiding over the case in Cartegna said the full sentence of 47 years each for the four people was cut in half as part of a plea deal, but the judge ruled out other benefits such as serving any of the sentences at home.

Pecci and his wife, Paraguayan journalist Claudia Aguilera, announced her pregnancy on Instagram shortly before the couple were approached by two men on a beach near their hotel. She told authorities one of the men later shot Pecci.

The organizers of the murder allegedly paid $500,000 for the killing, Colombian attorney general Francisco Barbosa said in a press conference earlier this month.

Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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