by Miguel Ferreira
“What I saw was caused by a flat object, without corners”, the doctor stated in court, referring to Leonor Cipriano’s injuries
Yesterday in court, Irene Posalacky, the doctor who saw Leonor Cipriano at the prison of Odemira, contradicted the theory that is sustained by the defense of the Polícia Judiciária inspectors, according to which Joana’s mother suffered a fall from the stairs.
This is the explanation given by the inspectors for the hematomas that Leonor Cipriano presented when she accused them of having beaten her in order to lead her to confess to her daughter’s murder. But the doctor contradicts that theory: “What I saw was caused by a flat object, with no corners”. According to the medic, when she observed Leonor on the 18th of October 2004, she presented lesion on several parts of her body. She had “red swollen eyes”, “the left eye shut”, “cuts on both knees, superficial but symmetrical”. And she presented lesions to her back, to her chest and on her arms.
Despite being a psychiatrist and general physician, Irene Posalacky defended in court in Faro yesterday that the – symmetrical – lesions on the knees contradict the possibility that they were suffered as the result of a fall off the stairs.
That was when António Cabrita, the lawyer who defends former inspector Gonçalo Amaral, asked the witness if “that flat object” that she referred to could be a wall. To which he received an affirmative reply.
The doctor was the third witness to depose in Faro, as there were two witnesses before her, a prison guard and the employee who photographed Leonor, and another one afterwards, the social worker who only watched the photo session and who established the connection between what was happening and the director of the Prison, Ana Maria Calado, who was on vacation at that time.
In the words of the former prison guard of Odemira prison, Ana Paula Teixeira, who was heard through videoconference, Leonor arrived at the prison with injuries, and explained in the presence of the inspectors that she had suffered them as she fell off the stairs.
Nevertheless, social assistant Adélia Palma explained during yesterday’s session that it had been Leonor Cipriano herself who had told her that she had been assaulted during the questioning that she was subject to at the PJ and that the inspectors had ordered her to say that she fell.
On the side of this third session, Aragão Correia, Leonor’s lawyer, admitted that there is special interest in the condemnation of former coordinator Gonçalo Amaral, and he pointed out three motives for that will to 24Horas: “Amaral was responsible for Leonor having been condemned over her daughter’s death, over the torture that she suffered inside the PJ and for the end of the investigations into the Joana case”. The lawyer defends that the little girl may be alive and suffering, with nobody searching for her.
“I laugh whenever I want to”
The beginning of the third session was marked by an incident, one among many that have taken place, between the defense and the accusation lawyers. This time, Pragal Colaço reacted badly to the exchange of smiles between Rodrigo Santiago and Aragão Correia, while he was dictating a request. “I cannot continue like this”, said the PJ inspectors’ laywer, visibly unnerved, speaking directly towards Leonor’s representatives, to which one of them, Rodrigo Santiago, replied: “I laugh whenever I want to”, devaluing his colleague’s emotional state.
The scene was repeated, despite the intervention of the presiding judge, who was “forced to change tone”: “We cannot undress the advantage that we have to technically distance ourselves from passions and emotions. We have to make use of that, or we are not here for anything”. Henrique Pavão made clear that “a dialogue of that kind is not compatible with a trial session” and advised that it should not be repeated.
source: 24Horas, 05.11.2008