by Augusto Freitas de Sousa
The Public Ministry in Portimão is surprised about Leonor Cipriano’s lawyer’s appeal in which he “admits to having violated basic rules”
Leonor Cipriano’s lawyer confessed that he obtained a statement from his client’s brother “based on absolutely forbidden methods”. In it, João Cipriano assumed that he had tried to sell his niece Joana.
This, at least, is the understanding of the Public Ministry in Portimão, after analysing, and refusing, the request from Marcos Aragão Correia for a revision of the sentence that was applied to Joana’s mother, who has been condemned to 16 years and eight months in prison over qualified homicide and concealment of a cadaver. It is now up to the process’ judge to decide whether or not he accepts the appeal. According to the Public Ministry’s decision, the jurist – in the document in which he requested the revision of the appeal – presented a confession from João Cipriano “that could be used as the basis for a movie scene”. In that written document, Aragão Correia confesses to having invented a story to fool Joana’s uncle: a police source allegedly told him that an inmate intended to murder Leonor’s brother.
A technique that he called a “bluff” and that allowed him to obtain a statement from Joana’s uncle, confessing to having tried to sell his niece. This confession led the Public Ministry to consider that the lawyer is violating the Lawyers’ Order’s statutes, which forbid “contacts with witnesses or other process parties with the purpose of instructing, influencing, or, by any other means, changing their deposition, thus damaging the discovery of the truth”. On the other hand, it suggests that “the activities that were undertaken by the lawyer” are communicated to the Order.
Among other explanations, the Public Ministry thus refers that the “new evidence” that is presented is not valid and adds that references to “false confessions that were extorted by the PJ team, which was responsible for the investigation, under brutal and cruel torture” and the allegation that ‘Gonçalo Amaral took his degree in criminal investigation in Guinea-Bissau, or an analogous country, or was fuelled by still unknown interests in the sense that truth would never be discovered’, do not contribute to the serenity, being completely alien to the appeal”, concluding that the process that accused the PJ’s agents has not reached a final decision yet.
The president of the Lawyers’ Order’s Faro District Counsel, Augusto Cabrita, told i that in this case of eventual violation of the Order’s statutes, it has to be established what Aragão Correia’s main address is, and in case it is in Madeira (there is a main and a secondary address), it will have to be the Lawyers’ Order in Madeira that open the process. And, in that case, this will be yet another process that the lawyer will suffer at that body in Madeira.
source: i, 19.10.2009