To the news - rehashed from the 22nd to the 24th of January
Marcos Aragão Correia, Leonor Cipriano's lawyer, today requested the removal of the judge-president of the trial of the PJ inspectors accused of torture, arguing that the behavior of the judge indicates bias.
In a request made to the Court of Appeals in Évora, to which the Lusa agency had access, the defense of Leonor Cipriano claims that, during the trial, which started on 24 October the Court of Faro, "several actions of the presiding judge indicated a possible lack of impartiality against the mother of the girl disappeared in September 2004" and in "favor of defendants".
Stressing "the impartiality and independence of the other judges of the collective", in the request sent to the superior court, signed by the lawyer for Leonor Cipriano, Marcos Aragão Correia also claims that "Henrique Pavão has inevitably affected the production of proof of accusation, annulling it almost completely."
The request also emphasizes that the prosecution lawyer against Gonçalo Amaral, Leonel Morgado Marques and Paulo Pereira Cristovão, former inspectors of the PJ and Paulo Marques Bom and Antonio Cardoso, still in the active; believes that "all the defendants will be acquitted of all crimes" of which they are accused if Henrique Pavão continues as the president of the collective of judges, composed by two other magistrates.
Aragão Correia noted that the judge granted only one of the 40 applications received "to date" (the hearing of the director, Ana Maria Calado, of the Odemira prison where Leonor Cipriano fulfills her sentence) and rejected all others, including one about the fact that former and current PJ officers carried firearms to the Court audiences.
The application [regarding the firearms] was lodged on the 17th of October, before the trial sessions, and afterwards on November 18th; in the request delivered today it's referred that only at the court hearing of January 16 the president judge gave the order of dismissal, alleging that "it was amazing and incredible that all the defendants showed an excellent behavior and ethical conduct" in all the audiences.
The defense of Leonor Cipriano believes that "Henrique Pavão dismissed without any plausible explanation the testimony of the witness" and notes that the magistrate "delays the decisions on the majority of applications" made by Marcos Aragão Correia; and remembers the episode regarding his preventive suspension, on January 22, as determined by the Madeira/Funchal Lawyers association(OA).
The suspension was lifted [though Marcos Aragão Correia is still an object of a disciplinary process]after the current address of the lawyer was communicated to the Madeira/Funchal Lawyers association(OA). Aragão Correia said "Henrique Pavão did not even see the documents" and showed "a lack of extreme urbanity [is Marcos saying the Judge lacks manners?], preventing him "of intervening in the trial hearing".
Today's request still shows evidence of an alleged impartiality of Henrique Pavão in a process involving a journalist, who witnesses that the judge "unlawfully favored in an absolute notoriously manner the opposing party."
The Court of Appeals in Évora now has 30 days to rule on the incident to excuse the president judge of the process of the alleged aggressions to Leonor Cipriano by the PJ inspectors, three accused of the crime of torture, one for not having provided aid and for omission of the complaint and a fifth accused of falsifying a document.
The Joana case "dates back to the 12th of September 2004, day when the girl, then eight years old, disappeared from the village of Figueiró [sic - actually is Figueira], Portimão. The mother, Leonor Cipriano, and uncle, João Cipriano, were sentenced to a penalty of 16 years each in prison for the crimes of qualified homicide and concealment of corpse.
Source: Lusa News Agency