16 January 2009

Joana case: PJ inspectors’ trial returns to Faro Court today

Faro, Jan 16 (Lusa) – The trial of the alleged aggressions against Leonor Cipriano by Polícia Judiciária (PJ) inspectors returns to the bar of Faro Court today, in order not to interrupt the production of evidence, and continues next Thursday.

During the last session of the trial, which was held in mid-December, with the same purpose, Leonor Cipriano’s lawyer delivered a request in court for 16 witnesses to be heard, so the contradictory can be made.

The first witness that is presented within that request is Leonor Cipriano, an assistant in the process; the list of witnesses that Marcos Aragão Correia requests includes university professor of forensics Pinto da Costa, Public Ministry inspector Alípio Ribeiro and the director of the Prison of Odemira, Ana Maria Calado.

According to Joana’s mother’s lawyer, the request is based on the need to clarify “contradictions” from the assistant that were invoked by the arguidos and to clarify if she was injected with a drug at Faro Hospital, with the purpose of disturbing her capacity.

The process of the alleged aggressions on Leonor Cipriano by PJ inspectors is related to the so-called “Joana case”, which dates back to the 12th of September 2004, the day that the little girl, aged eight, disappeared from the village of Figueira, Portimão, Algarve.

The Public Ministry’s accusations against five former inspectors and inspectors of the Judiciária appeared following questioning sessions at the PJ in Faro in 2004, a time at which Leonor appeared at the Prison of Odemira, where she was under preventive detention, with lesions to her face and to her body.

Three inspectors stand accused of the crime of torture, one stands accused of the crime of false testimony and omission of denunciation, and a fifth stands accused of the crime of falsification of a document.

Joana’s mother, Leonor Cipriano, and her uncle, João Cipriano, have been condemned by the Supreme Court of Justice to 16 years in prison each, over the crimes of homicide and concealment of the child’s cadaver.


source: Lusa, 16.01.2009

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