A man has been arrested in Romania on a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) for the murder of Valerie Graves in Bosham, West Sussex.
On 30 December 2013, the 55-year-old mother and grandmother was found brutally murdered in her bedroom in Smugglers Lane, Bosham. She had been staying at the property while the owners were away over the Christmas period.
Romanian national Cristian Sabou, 27, was arrested on Wednesday morning (10 July) at his address in Dej by officers from the Romanian National Police, who served on him the EAW which had been authorised by a district judge in the UK.
Detectives from the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team were present in Romania to work with the authorities there.
Sabou’s extradition is now being sought through the Romanian courts and he will now appear court in Cluj-Napoca to face extradition proceedings. The time and date of the have not yet been confirmed.
Detective Chief Inspector Jon Fanner said: "This is a major development in the case. It follows detailed enquiries in Romania by officers from the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, in which we were assisted by valuable liaison with local law enforcement officers of the General Police Inspectorate, Criminal Investigations Directorate, Bucharest, the Criminal Investigation Service in Cluj, and the Special Operations Brigade in Cluj, also the local prosecutor.
“We have worked closely with the Crown Prosecution Service throughout and they have authorised the prosecution. We have also had valuable support from the National Crime Agency’s overseas network.
“Valerie’s family have been kept informed of developments but they are not making any public statement at this time.
“We now hope to ensure, subject to the decision of the Romanian courts and judicial authorities, Sabou’s return to this country for an appearance before magistrates with a view to his being sent for Crown Court trial.
“This is a major development in our task of achieving justice for Valerie and her family, but now the case is before the courts, proceedings are active, and we are not in a position to disclose any further information at this time.
”Media and public are reminded that proceedings are active and therefore no comment on or opinion about the case should be published or broadcast, in news or social media, at this time."
Authors: Tim Mahony and Michelle Tugwell
We are not providing any media interviews on this case at this time.
Valerie’s family have told us that they do not wish to be approached by media at this time.
As soon as he is returned to the UK, Sabou will be taken directly to a magistrate’s court in Sussex for an initial appearance before being sent in custody for trial at Lewes Crown Court.
We are not looking for anyone else as suspects in connection with this case
Evidence of visual identification will not be an issue at trial, and police and CPS are not making any request to media not to publish images of Sabou that may come into their possession.