Witness was summoned to testify in court by the defense of inspector Marques Bom
A computer expert said in court that the photographs that were taken of Leonor Cipriano with markings of alleged aggressions from Polícia Judiciária inspectors in October 2004 may have been manipulated, Lusa reports.
Electronics engineer Miguel Custódio was summoned as a computer expert to the Court of Faro by the defense of inspector Marques Bom, one of the five arguidos in the process of alleged aggressions against Leonor Cipriano during the investigation into the case of Joana, the little girl who disappeared from the village of Figueira, Portimão, in September of 2004.
The witness authored a forensics report that intended to establish the dates when the photographs were taken, possible indicia of manipulation, as well as the quality of the images that were recorded on the CD that is part of the process, which includes 19 photographs of Leonor Cipriano presenting several hematomas on different body parts.
According to the technician, the images of Joana’s mother that were presented in the process “have passed through a software filter that manipulated them”. Nevertheless, he asserted that “it’s not possible to determine what manipulation was carried out without having access to the original files”.
Miguel Custódio said that he presumes that the original images were recorded on a floppy disk, adding that he didn’t know what had “happened to the original files” in the meantime, and that he couldn’t guarantee that those had not been altered since their original recording.
“It was not possible to establish the date of the photographs”
According to Miguel Custódio, “it was not possible to establish the date of the photographs” because “the disc where they were recorded was no longer the original one”. The CD that was appended to the process was recorded in October 2008 from images that had been recorded on the 9th of May 2005.
Concerning the quality of the files, the witness explained to the judges and members of the jury that due to the fact that they were taken with “low resolution, the images don’t have enough quality to allow for an enlargement and to distinguish color details” when they were printed, which led him to conclude that they are of “bad quality” as a “piece of evidence”.
Falling down the stairs
The witness statement of Miguel Custódio followed the one given by José Prachedes, a PJ inspector who was part of the initial list of eight arguidos in this process.
José Prachedes was taken off the process after a line-up that was carried out in Évora in 2007, during which Leonor Cipriano failed to identify him.
The PJ inspector stated that on the night of the alleged aggressions, on the 14th of October 2004, he was inside the building of the PJ directory in Faro, accompanied by João Cipriano, Leonor’s brother, with whom he had been carrying out diligences within the Joana case.
At a certain point in time, he recalled, “I was talking to Mr João and I heard a noise”. When asked what kind of noise it was, he replied: “It sounded like something heavy that fell unsupported on stone”. Despite realizing that “something had happened, I didn’t know immediately what it was”.
It was only “30 to 60 minutes later” that José Prachedes would be “informed about what had happened by inspector Leonel Marques”.
“What I was told later was that she [Leonor Cipriano] went to the toilet and that when she exited, she precipitated herself towards the stairs and inspector Marques Bom precipitated himself towards her to try to prevent her from falling down the stairs”, he told the court.
The inspector further added that he had “no motives not to believe in his colleagues” even more because at the date of the facts, Leonor Cipriano had already admitted her involvement in her daughter’s death to the instruction judge, on the 13th of October.
source: IOL Portugal Diário, 24.11.2008