Two supposed relatives of inmates contradicted Joana’s mother on SIC. The lawyer for the inspectors that stand accused of the aggressions doesn’t pay attention
by Miguel Ferreira
Leonor Cipriano was assaulted in prison by other inmates and not by the PJ’s men, two supposed relatives of inmates at Odemira Prison stated yesterday, as they were interviewed – without being identified – on the ‘Fátima’ talk show on SIC. A version that could demolish the accusation of torture against the inspectors, but which the defense lawyer asserted to 24Horas he is not going to take advantage of.
Pragal Colaço – who represents the four inspectors from the Violent Crime Combat Directory – said it “won’t be necessary” to call those witnesses, given the fact that he considers that the testimonies from the prison doctor and from the Public Ministry’s prosecutor who started the process were already “decisive to reach the truth”.
“During the final allegations, it will become clearly perceptible what happened. Everything has a technical scientific explanation”, he said, without adding further clarification.
During the SIC program, a source that was presented as being the mother of an inmate at Odemira Prison guaranteed that “it was the [prison] companions themselves that aggressed Leonor in order to make her confess what she did to her daughter”.
With her face covered and her voice distorted, the woman said that she acquired knowledge of this fact through her daughter, who was detained at the same prison as Leonor, at the time when the latter presented a complaint against the PJ inspectors over alleged aggressions.
During the same show, another witness revealed that during a visit to an inmate at the same prison she was told that “Leonor was assaulted by the inmates several times, and the first one was right after her detention”.
Contradicting everything were two other supposed inmates, who were heard during the same show. One of them admitted that the atmosphere inside the prison “was of great turmoil” because the inmates “wanted to know what had happened to little Joana”. But she said that nobody had contact with Joana’s mother during two and a half months after she returned from the PJ in Faro.
A supposed cell mate of Leonor even stated that the inmates were “threatened by the guards” not to hurt Leonor. Concerning the aggressions, “her initial version was that it was the police who beat her up”, she said.
Defense will call ten inmates into court
Joana’s mother’s lawyer was caught by surprise yesterday by the testimonies that advance a new version of the facts that could explain the marks of violence on his client.
Marcos Aragão Correia told 24Horas that he “had never heard about aggressions by inmates against Leonor Cipriano inside the prison”, and therefore has already prepared ten witnesses to testify in court in order to contradict the theory, “if the defense calls the persons that were heard by SIC”.
“I have ten inmates who are willing to go defend Leonor in court”, he guaranteed.
For now, Marcos Aragão Correia is counting on 15 defense witnesses, whose request “was already filed”. They include names like António Leandro, Leonor Cipriano’s former partner at the time when Joana died, former Polícia Judiciária inspector Barra da Costa, relatives of Leandro and the director of the Prison of Odemira, Ana Maria Calado, whose testimony Aragão Correia does not abdicate from, although she was dispensed by the collective of judges at the Court of Faro. The lawyer considers the possibility of appealing to the Relation Court of Évora.
Lawyer Carlos Arroba da Silva clarified that “if the court or someone related to the process understands that those testimonies may help in the discovery of the truth”, the persons that were heard during the program could “be summoned to testify in court”.
source: 24Horas, 20.11.2008