Without identified authors, the collective of judges and jury at the Court of Faro decided yesterday to acquit the three Polícia Judiciária inspectors that stood accused of torture against Leonor Cipriano, who was condemned to 16 years over the homicide of her daughter Joana. The other two arguidos, including the former coordinator of the Joana and Maddie cases, Gonçalo Amaral, were condemned to suspended sentences over forgery of documents and false statements.
Despite concluding that the plaintiff “suffered aggressions” while under the custody of the PJ, the court understood that it was not proved “how said lesions were inflicted” and “who inflicted them”, acquitting Pereira Cristóvão, Marques Bom and Leonel Marques. Concerning the theory of the fall from the stairs, the court concluded that “the lesions were not compatible with the explanation”. The conviction was based on the deposition of a technician from the Forensics Medicine Institute, which the inspectors’ defence disputes.
“The two arguidos were condemned only because the antagonising deposition by professor Teresa Magalhães was considered to be credible and everything else was forgotten”, lawyer Pragal Colaço, who will appeal the condemnation of António Cardoso, contested.
António Cabrita, Gonçalo Amaral’s lawyer, also ponders an appeal over the condemnation of his client.
Leonor has no credibility
The jurors and the collective of judges at the Court of Faro considered that Leonor Cipriano’s deposition had “no credibility”. According to judge Henrique Pavão, “she changed her version several times” and “lightly” accused persons of aggressing her, based on a list of names that she carried into the court room. “She lied about the identification of the aggressors and she lied about other crucial aspects”, the judge mentioned.
Concerning the photographs that were taken of Leonor, which were included in the process, the collective considered that they are “of weak quality” and that therefore, “it was not possible to conclude safely about what really happened”.
Suspended – The Court of Faro condemned Gonçalo Amaral and António Cardodo to suspended sentences of one year and three months and two years and three months, respectively, over false statement and document forgery.
Attack – Pragal Colaço, the lawyer to four of the accused inspectors, attacked the head of the Laywers’ Order, Marinho Pinto, saying that he should “be ashamed” over making the Order an assistant in the case.
Union – The Union of the PJ’s Criminal Investigation Workers congratulated itself over the acquittal of “three colleagues”. For Carlos Anjos, the decision “gave reason to the position that was defended by” the Union.
source: Correio da Manhã, 23.05.2009