The fugitive killer of a British couple held hostage and brutally murdered in southern Spain has been recaptured after three months on the run from prison.
Ex-CIA pilot Jorge Real Sierra, 67, absconded from a jail in Granada, southern Spain, in February after serving just ten years of a 62-year sentence for the murders of Tony and Linda O’Malley.
The Venezuelan failed to return to jail after being granted a temporary release, despite the opposition of prison chiefs.
He was arrested at Madrid Airport. Police sources said he had been trying to obtain a new passport through Venezuela’s consulate in Bilbao, northern Spain, but had not been given the travel document before his detention.
He is now being held temporarily in a prison near Madrid while authorities make a decision on his future.
The O’Malleys disappeared after flying to Spain from their home in Llangollen, north Wales in August 2002 to look for a dream home on the Costa Blanca.
Real and brother-in-law Jose Antonio Velazquez Gonzalez kidnapped them while showing them round a villa they were trying to sell through an ad in a local English-language newspaper, emptied their bank accounts as they held them hostage and ended their lives in a final act of ruthlessness.
The murdered pair were found buried under concrete in the 18ft by 8ft cellar of the three-bedroom villa in Alcoy, 12 miles inland from Benidorm, on March 25 2003.
Tony, who had his own business restoring classic cars, had choked to death after being bound and gagged with masking tape.
Shop manager mum-of-two Linda, his wife of 15 years, died from the stress of her five-day hostage ordeal during which she was kept alive with a minimum of food while being watched over a webcam.
A prison assessment board had turned down Real’s request for temporary release because it considered him a flight risk - but a specialist judge hearing his appeal allowed him to leave Albalote Prison for six days in February.
He had been made a wanted man by a court in the southern Spanish city after failing to return to the jail on February 26 as agreed.
The judge who allowed Real out of prison is understood to have based his decision on his “impeccable” behaviour inside jail - despite a new conviction soon after his murder trial - and the fact he had returned to prison without problem after two previous day releases.
He was sentenced to a year in jail for trying to bribe his prison governor shortly after being convicted of murdering the O’Malleys.
Jaime Hernandez, who was in charge of a jail in Alicante where Real first started serving his sentence, reported him after receiving an envelope containing a poem by a south American author and four 500 euro banknotes.
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