Hotel security cameras could clear Norwegian-Filipino couple / News / The Foreigner

Hotel security cameras could clear Norwegian-Filipino couple. Charges against accused Norwegian Sven-Erik Berger and Filipino fiancée Karen Castro Esdrelon could be dropped after hotel surveillance cameras confirm the couple’s alibi. Mr Berger and Ms Esdrelon allege they could not have kidnapped and killed 6-year-old Ellah Joy Pique as they were in a different location at the time. Police believe they abducted the little girl sometime between 4 and 5 p.m. last Tuesday, but security camera photos from The Waterfront Hotel show they were checking in at the time.

sven-erikberger, karencastroesdrelon, mactan-cebuairport, childkidnapping, childmurder, ellahjoypique



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Hotel security cameras could clear Norwegian-Filipino couple

Published on Wednesday, 16th February, 2011 at 22:03 under the news category, by Nicoleta Dumitrache Sincan.
Last Updated on 16th February 2011 at 22:38.

Charges against accused Norwegian Sven-Erik Berger and Filipino fiancée Karen Castro Esdrelon could be dropped after hotel surveillance cameras confirm the couple’s alibi.

Cebu City from the sea
Cebu City from the sea
Photo: Binter/Wikimedia Commons


Reasonable doubt?

Mr Berger and Ms Esdrelon allege they could not have kidnapped and killed 6-year-old Ellah Joy Pique as they were in a different location at the time.

Police believe they abducted the little girl sometime between 4 and 5 p.m. last Tuesday, but security camera photos from The Waterfront Hotel show they were checking in at the time.

Jonathan F. Ho, the hotel’s security chief, tells VG that he “has reviewed the surveillance photos which confirm that the couple checked in at 16.45 on Tuesday, 8 February”.

Mr Ho continues by saying there are many surveillance cameras in the hotel lobby area, elevators, and in the hallways, and confirms National Bureau of Investigation officials and local paper The Cebu Daily News have already seen excerpts of the recordings.

Receipts from a Norwegian course Ms Esdrelon is to attend in Cebu City, as well as one issued by a restaurant the couple had lunch at before arriving at the hotel could also confirm they had nothing to do with Ellah’s disappearance and murder. Both places are approximately one-hour’s drive away from the six-year-old’s school.  

“We arrived at Karen’s school at 15:50 and paid the registration fee, which we have a receipt for. We met the man who runs it, and several students can confirm we were there. We left the school and had lunch, and took a taxi to the hotel afterwards at about five o’clock,” Mr Berger said yesterday.

Groundless

This appears to fit with a further remark by The Waterfront Hotel’s security chief.

“They arrived in a taxi when they checked in and took a taxi from here the day after, when they checked out”, Mr. Ho tells VG.

The couple’s lawyer, Salvador Salima, says he believes the new evidence should be grounds for their release.

“This means there is no case anymore, both theoretically and legally. I shall be presenting prosecuting authorities with my claim for my clients’ immediate release.”

Edward A. Villarta, regional director for the Cebu NBI, confirms the hotel has given them the same information regarding Mr Berger and Ms Esdrelon’s check-in.

"We are just waiting for a request from prosecutors who must decide whether they will involve us in any further investigation. It is provincial police that have responsibility for this at the moment,” he underlines.



Published on Wednesday, 16th February, 2011 at 22:03 under the news category, by Nicoleta Dumitrache Sincan.
Last updated on 16th February 2011 at 22:38.

This post has the following tags: sven-erikberger, karencastroesdrelon, mactan-cebuairport, childkidnapping, childmurder, ellahjoypique.





  
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