After serving over one fourth of her sentence, Joana’s mother may leave prison before Christmas, but the family doesn’t want her home.
The family of Joana Cipriano’s stepfather does not accept to receive the mother’s child in their home, which is located in the village of Mexilhoeira Grande, in the county of Portimão. Leonor Cipriano has requested the Sentence Execution Court of Évora to grant her a jurisdictional leave license, as she has served over one fourth of the 16 year sentence that she was condemned to, over the crimes of qualified murder and concealment of her daughter’s body (which has not appeared yet), on the 12th of September of 2004.
The refusal to accept Leonor Cipriano – who will learn the judge’s reply to the request that was now filed, after a technical report, namely by the Prison of Odemira, where she is located -, is related to a letter that was sent about two months ago to Lurdes David, the mother of Leandro Silva, Joana’s stepfather, in which she accuses her ex-partner’s family of intending to “take my children away from me”. Ruben, aged 8, and Sara, aged 6, live with their paternal grandmother, an aunt and other relatives.
Joana’s mother’s revolt appears following a letter that was sent to her by Lurdes David, in which she asked her for permission to remove the name “Cipriano” from the children’s identification, leaving only “Domingos”, Leonor’s surname. According to Sara David, the children’s aunt, this would be due to “whenever my niece and nephew go somewhere and are called Cipriano, everyone stares at them, remembering Joana’s mother and the story of her daughter’s disappearance. That was what happened when the children went to the Registry to get their ID cards”.
If Leonor Cipriano obtains a licence to leave prison, which during an initial phase will only be for a maximum of seven consecutive days every four months, under article 79, number 4, of the Sentence Execution Code, her life does not look easy.
“We are not her family. We are simply Leandro’s family. We won’t take her back for one single day, and we won’t allow her to see her children, who are under our care. She is ungrateful. Her lawyer, who didn’t even bother to contact us concerning that issue of her possibly leaving prison, he can find her a home, or she can go to her own family, who never cared about her, either. We are not going to suffer again what we suffered when Joana disappeared and many people stopped speaking to us and my sister lost her job and her boyfriend”, Sara David told DN in a revolted tone.
Leandro Silva, who continues to work at the family’s junk site, asserts that he still “loves” Leonor, although now he lives with another woman, in Portimão.
On the other hand, lawyer Marcos Aragão Correia, the legal representative of Leonor Cipriano and Leandro Silva (in a process against former PJ coordinator Gonçalo Amaral, over suspected aggression), has advised the family to be “sensible”, recalling precisely that he is also that man’s lawyer without charging any honoraries. “I showed my solidarity towards Leandro when he couldn’t afford the processes’ expenses and walked around without any documents to request judicial support from the State”, Marcos Aragão Correia observed.
in: Diário de Notícias, 10.05.2010