24 March 2009

PJ Inspectors' trial returns to Court of Faro today

Expert says lesions are from distinct moments

by Lusa

The trial over the alleged aggressions against assistant Leonor Cipriano by Judiciária inspectors returns to the Court of Faro on Tuesday, with the hearing of a forensics medicine expert, who concluded that the bruises have occurred at three different moments.

The 12th trial session, which is scheduled to start at 9.30 a.m., is expected to hear Teresa Magalhães, an expert at the National Institute for Forensics Medicine, who wrote a report on request by the Court of Faro, about the photographs where Leonor Cipriano can be seen with lesions on various places of her face and body.

A source that is connected to the process has told Lusa Agency that in her report, the expert concluded that the bruises had been made during “three different trauma episodes”, with hematoma that is three to four days old, others that are eight to nine days old, and further ones that are 21 days old.

The expert, who never saw Leonor Cipriano’s alleged lesions live, further excludes, in her report, that a fall from stairs could have been the cause for the lesions.

The defence for the present and former Polícia Judiciária (PJ) inspectors nevertheless argues that the stair fall theory cannot be excluded, because of the “trauma mechanism”.

During a previous session at the Court of Faro, a forensics expert had already stated that the lesions that Leonor Cipriano presents in the photographs may have been made on two distinct moments and that they could be a consequence both of falling off the stairs or being assaulted.

Marcos Aragão Correia, Leonor Cipriano’s lawyer, is not expected to attend Tuesday’s trial session.

In February, Marcos Aragão requested the removal of this trial’s presiding judge, arguing that the magistrate’s behaviour indicates bias. Nevertheless, the Appeals Court of Évora has denied the request for the removal of the presiding judge.

Aragão Correia was notified of the decision from the Appeals Court of Évora last Thursday, and when confronted with the decision, that allows for no appeal, informed Lusa that he wouldn’t attend the next trial sessions, although he continues to represent Leonor Cipriano in writing.

The “Joana case” dates back to the 12th of September 2004, the day when the girl, aged eight, disappeared in the village of Figueira, near Portimão, in the Algarve, and whose mother, Leonor Cipriano, and her uncle, João Cipriano (both siblings) have been condemned by the Supreme Court of Justice to 16 years in prison over the crimes of homicide and concealment of the child’s cadaver.

Before serving her sentence at the prison in Odemira, Joana’s mother was under preventive detention and was questioned several times by inspectors at the PJ’s Directory in Faro.

The Public Ministry’s accusations against present and former Judiciária inspectors appeared following the interrogations at the PJ in Faro. Three stand accused of the crime of torture, one stands accused of failing to give assistance and omitting a denunciation, and a fifth one stands accused of document forgery.


source: Diário de Notícias, 23.03.2009

1 comment:

  1. There is something strange about that photo, her face looks a bit too thin, I don't think she was ever that thin,her face looks very different from other photos of her. Even if you take the swealling into account, it still looks weird.

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