24 October 2008

Leonor Cipriano "Torture" Trial - Correio da Manhã



Process – PJ’s entry register places arguidos outside the building

Outside of the PJ at time of beatings

Leonor Cipriano states that she was beaten before 8 p.m., the time at which the three men who stand accused of torture entered the PJ

by José Carlos Marques

The register of entries and exits at the Faro Directory of the Polícia Judicária, which CM has had access to, reveals that the three inspectors who stand accused of torture over Leonor Cipriano, between 6 and 8 p.m. on the 14th of October 2004, were not inside the building during the period when Joana’s mother says she was beaten up.

The three of them arrived at precisely 8 p.m. – just like António Cardoso, who stands accused of falsifying a document. Concerning Gonçalo Amaral, who according to the Public Ministry failed to denounce the torture and gave a false testimony, he arrived at the PJ after 9.40 pm.

There was a clock on the wall of the room where Leonor Cipriano says she was beaten. When she was heard at Faro court on the 17th of October 2007, Leonor explained that the aggressions started between 5 and 6 pm and extended “over two hours, two hours and a bit”.

Leonor’s statements collide with the registry of entries and exits of the Faro Judiciária’s employees. According to that document, on the 14th, the seven inspectors from the major crime combat unit, including the three who stand accused, only arrived at 8 pm. All together.

The Public Ministry accuses Leonel Marques, Marques Bom and Pereira Cristóvão of torture, although the accusation dispatch refers that the aggressions were not inflicted by themselves, but rather by “unidentified individuals”. The accusation states that they acted “from a decision, following instructions and upon agreement” with the three arguidos, and that those “created conditions for the effect”.

The defense maintains that Leonor tried to throw herself down the stairwell at around 1 am. She was led to the Odemira Health Centre by the PJ on the following day, where she was assisted and then returned to prison. Before the supposed aggressions, on the 14th of October, Leonor had already confessed to killing her daughter.

Jurors’ vote equals judges’

The jurors that were chosen by Faro Court have a vote that is equal to those of each of the three judges, in order to decide if the accused inspectors should be condemned or acquitted. They are a taxi driver, a municipal fireman, a golf course receptionist and a finance technician, aged between 28 and 50. They started out as a group of one hundred, from where 18 persons were chosen. Ten were excluded by the inspectors’ lawyers, by Leonor’s lawyer and by the Public Ministry until only eight, four effective and four supplemental jurors, remained.

Direct speech – Carlos Anjos, President of the PJ’s Union

“I have never seen the Lawyers’ Bar defending policemen”

Correio da Manhã – What’s your opinion about the trial?

Carlos Anjos – The process started out upside down. It did not originate from a complaint by Joana’s mother. It originated from photographs that were published in a newspaper. There was almost an attempt to walk into this situation.

- Political intentions?

- It’s a recurrent theme, which is no longer justified. Above everything, I believe in my colleagues. They didn’t beat her. But there are people out there who promoted themselves to saviours of the homeland; someone who attained notoriety by making denunciations without proof.

- How do you see the participation of the Lawyers’ Bar as an assistant?

- There are approximately 200 processes where policemen complained of being aggressed. What I would like to know is if the Bar is going to become an assistant in said processes. I have never seen the Head of the Bar worried about the aggressions that victimize policemen. I have never seen the Bar defending policemen, or concerned about what happened to Joana or Maddie.

Directors on the witness stand

The joint national directors of the Polícia Judiciária (PJ), Guilhermino Encarnação (head of the Faro PJ) and Luís Neves (head of the Major Crime unit), are two out of more than 40 witnesses that were called to the stand by the defense of the five inspectors that are on trial.

These two high-ranking officials have already coordinated many cases in which the accused men were involved. And Santos Cabral, the PJ’s national director at the time, is going to witness in writing.

Among the witnesses, names like Marques Vidal, a jubilated judge and former general director of the PJ, Albano Pinto, a former joint national director of the PJ, and Orlando Romano, a public prosecutor and former national director of the PSP, stand out. The surprise factor was the call for João Grade, former lawyer for Leonor Cipriano, who decided to change her defense lawyer at the last minute.

source: Correio da Manhã, 24.10.2008, paper edition

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