Real-Life Elena Garrido In ‘The Asunta Case’: Who Was Alfonso’s Lawyer?


In Netflix’s miniseries, The Asunta Case, we saw that the alleged murderers at the beginning of the show, Alfonso and Rosario, faced a lot of trouble when their lawyer refused to take their case as he did not specialize in criminal law. This was one of the most complicated cases that the country had ever witnessed, and when a fierce examining judge like Mr. Tain was at the helm of affairs, the couple needed somebody who understood the law and also had prior experience dealing with such a high-profile case. That’s when Elena Garrido and Juan Jose Dominguez took charge of things. Elena‘s charter was inspired by a real-life lawyer named Belen Hospido, and the majority of the things we saw her doing in the series actually happened in real life. There are places where the makers took some creative liberties, but apart from that, the crux of the narrative was kept pretty much intact.

Elena was a bit hesitant to take the case, as she didn’t like the perception that had been formed by the general public due to the media trial. It was one of those cases where everybody had a perception of their own, and the majority of them felt that the couple was responsible for murdering their own girl. But Dominguez, whose character was inspired by the real-life lawyer Jose Luis Gutierrez Aranguren, convinced her to come on board. Elena made it very clear that she was not going to face the media at any cost, and she had her own reason for doing so. She knew how things were blown out of proportion and how the narrative changed overnight, and so she wanted to play her cards cautiously. Her colleague agreed with her conditions, as he was more than happy to become the face of the defense council, since he probably craved fame and publicity and he knew that The Asunta Case was going to get him that. 

The trial started, and Elena presented her arguments in court, which were quite similar to what happened in real life. According to Belen Hospital, there were many points presented in the court of law through which the prosecution was determined to establish the motive of the accused. In her view, the prosecution was not able to prove any point beyond a reasonable doubt, and the worst part was that Basterra’s life was contextualized and used for that same purpose. Belen Hospido says that there was no direct evidence to prove that Basterra was after Rosario’s property. The learned counsel said that the pictures of Asunta, through which the prosecution wanted to tarnish the character of her client and portray him as a child abuser, were also quite baseless and speculative in nature.

There was a moment in the series where Belen’s character asked Basterra not to go for a joint defense with his ex-wife if he felt that he could reveal something about her that could save him from going to prison. We saw how Elena put Basterra under the radar during the cross-examination sequence in the hope that he would say something that could help his cause. But Basterra kept quiet, and he stuck to the narrative that he had held onto since the very beginning. I don’t know if that actually happened in real life or not, but it was obvious why Belen would have resorted to that tactic. Yes, she was acting together with Rosario’s lawyer, but still, her duty was to look after her client. If she believed that there was something that could save him from going behind bars, she had every right to convince him to speak about it in court. 

Belen never came in front of the camera until two years after the judgment was pronounced. She spoke with clarity about what she thought about the entire trial and whether, in her opinion, the judgment was fair or not. Belen said that even before she stepped into the courtroom, she knew that the people, including the entire jury, had already made the decision. The general rule in any legal system is “innocent until proven guilty,” and the burden to prove that guilt lies on the prosecution, but in The Asunta Case, the opposite happened. Things were assured in the court of law, and Belen couldn’t contradict it because nobody was ready to look at the lack of evidence-based on which such a decision was being made. Belen Hospido, quite evidently, was not happy about the way Judge Tain dealt with the investigation, and though she didn’t say anything explicitly, she knew that he had his own preconceived notions and didn’t follow the procedure properly. To date, Belen Hospido maintains her viewpoint that her client didn’t lie at any point in time in the court of law, the defense councils did not conspire at a given point, there were a lot of mistakes committed, and it seemed as if the judges were adamant to give an ex-parte judgment. As of now Belen Hospido is staying in A Coruna in Spain and she is still one of the most eminent practicing lawyers of the country.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

Must Read

DMT Guide

More Like This