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Thursday, 28 May 2015

Jose: ‘I didn’t kill Kate’

 Video denial:  Cumbria police want to see a tape of surfer Jose Henricci, in which he denies murdering Kate Osborne, left, last seen in Bali more than three months ago

By Victoria Brenan

Crime reporter

CUMBRIAN detectives investigating the disappearance of a Carlisle woman in Bali are waiting to view a video tape of an interview with her ex-lover.

Jose Henricci, 35, who is currently in jail in Peru for alleged drug smuggling, is understood to claim on the tape that he has nothing to do with the disappearance of Kate Osborne, who vanished from her home on the Indonesian holiday island three months ago.

Henricci was interviewed by a Peruvian television company last month and the tape has now been sent to Cumbrian detectives investigating Kate’s disappearance.

Detective Chief Inspector Bill Whitehead said he had forwarded the cassette to a translation service in London and hoped to have it returned within a week.

On the tape, which has been broadcast in Peru, Henricci says that Kate, 35, threatened to tell police he was a drug dealer.

And he claims she could be anywhere, saying he had not heard from her since April 2, having left Bali in late March.

“She could be in a hotel in a remote island in Indonesia, laughing about everything that is happening,” he says. “That’s what I think is happening. That she is doing this to point the finger of blame at me. I did not kill her and I have absolutely no idea where she is.”

Former surfer Henricci claims he left Bali on March 28 or 29 and Kate drove him to the airport. He says he phoned her during his journey but they argued after she told him she was with a Dutch friend called Gustav. He insists his last contact with Kate was a phone call on April 2. Soon afterwards, he reached the central Peruvian town of Cusco and was arrested. “It is impossible that I was in Bali with her,” he says.

Rumours about Kate’s fate have circulated in Bali since she vanished. One suggestion was that she had flown to Peru; another theory was that she had been targeted by a Latin American drug gang connected to Henricci. DCI Whitehead said neither claim was supported by any evidence.

Henricci is now awaiting trial in Puerto Maldonado, almost 500 miles east of Lima. If found guilty, he could face up to five years in jail.