- Highlighted issues: Illegal Wiretappings, The Freeport Case, The Madeleine McCann Case
- Video excerpts of the interview (in Portuguese)
Correio da Manhã/Rádio Clube – Do you still hear strange noises on your mobile phone?
Pinto Monteiro – That with the strange noises was the thing that was most reported by the media. Let me make a radical statement to you: everything that I said in the media until this day are serious statements from a serious ‘Beirão’ [native of Beiras, a region of Portugal]. There is no one who can demonstrate that everything that I have said is not true. It’s evident that what I said was a call for attention, which the Attorney General can make, upon the abuse of wiretappings.
António Ribeiro Ferreira [ARF] – Abuse.
- Yes. Wiretappings have to exist. There is a certain type of crimes that cannot be solved without wiretappings. But wiretappings have to authorised by a judge. Have you seen any cases of abuse of wiretappings, or haven’t you? Look, as recently as this week the newspapers report that a PJ agent was punished with one and a half year of suspension, among other things, because of wiretappings. That there was illegal wiretapping in Portugal, there was indeed.
ARF – Does it still exist?
- Probably. And then I’m told: why doesn’t the Attorney General control them? I have no way of controlling them.
ARF – The technological means are so sophisticated, it is impossible to control them, isn’t it?
- It’s impossible. Anyway, I changed my mobile phone and this year the Government gave the Attorney General’s Office a budget to improve the phone network. Therefore, I think we’re on the right path.
The Freeport case
ARF – But there’s a delicate case that has been in the newspapers, that involves the English police, concerning the Freeport business. They say that the English police suspects a Portuguese politician, with high amounts of money circulating through fiscal paradises. How is that process evolving? Will it all burst in 2009, the year of all elections?
- I’ll reply with the same frankness. The Freeport process is a process that has been dragging on for quite a while. Concerning that process, I summoned the lady prosecutor who was in charge of the case and she told me that the process was stalled at the Judiciária, waiting for a test that was always delayed. Well. I told the lady prosecutor to give them a deadline, a reasonable one, we insisted, and the process remained stalled. So I avoked the process, just like I did with the Lisbon Municipality and the football, the ‘Golden Whistle’.
ARF – You avoked the process.
- I avoked the process. And the process passes to the DCIAP [Central Department for Penal Action and Investigation] which is the entity that is competent for that. Well. The Freeport process is at a phase where we have a rogatory that was sent to England since 2005 which the English have not carried out yet. Don’t ask me why because I don’t know. The English justice is very swift sometimes, sometimes it’s not swift at all. Vale e Azevedo should be in Portugal already. He should be here already. He’s not. He’s not yet. Let’s see when he comes.
ARF – If he comes.
- I think yes, he’ll come. But let’s see when he does. He has a few years to spend in prison, that’s only why. He may have the best lawyers in the world but he has a few years to spend in prison. He has. That is not even an issue for the prosecutor, it’s an issue for the judges who condemned him.
ARF – Exactly.
- In the Freeport case, there is a rogatory yet to be carried out. Meanwhile, we decided, in order to try to unblock a series of situations, to organise a meeting here between the director of the DCIAP and a vice-director of the PJ and two or three persons from the team that went to The Hague to meet the English police. Because the English police, on their side, also has a rogatory letter that wanted to send. So, they went there with the support of Eurojust, which is an entity that theoretically is destined to do that, and I’m waiting for the results of that meeting. Now, the political speculations at this point in time are mere speculations. I have to say it very clearly. Don’t ask me what is going to happen tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, because tests are being carried out, the rogatories have not been carried out, the English are going to send elements over, I hope they do, we’ve been waiting for three years, we’re going to send them elements. Now, at this point in time anything that involves politicians is nothing more than mere political speculation.
The Madeleine McCann case
ARF – We’re talking about Dr Bexiga, who is now an administrator at CP.
- There seems to be no doubt that was because of football. Until now it was not possible to establish who did it. These processes are never closed. I take the opportunity to say this. Just like the Maddie case. They are not closed. The Maddie process was archived concerning those arguidos. Every once in a while I receive letters, sometimes completely hallucinatory letters from a gentleman who was a medium, from another gentleman who is I don’t know what, I always send them, with a little card saying that although I don’t believe much in mediums, here goes anyway. The process is always susceptible of being opened. This case of the town councillor is open. For the time being, until now, as I use to say, it was not possible to establish anything.
Fernando José Pinto Monteiro was born in 1942 in the village of Porto de Ovelha, council of Almeida, district of Guarda. He has a degree in Law from the Law Faculty of Coimbra University, he was a delegate for the Public Ministry in Idanha-a-Nova, Anadia, Oporto and Lisbon and a Law judge in Ponta do Sol, Alcácer do Sal, Loures, Torres Vedras and Lisbon. He was a at the Appeals Court of Lisbon and since 1998 he is a counselling judge at the Supreme Court of Justice. In October 2006 he was nominated Attorney General of the Republic by Cavaco Silva and José Sócrates.
source: Correio da Manhã, 11.01.2009