RTP: Sem rasto da Joana
Sem rasto da Joana | 2007-01-31
O caso chocou o país no final do Verão de 2004. A menina Joana Guerreiro, de 8 anos, desaparecera da aldeia de Figueira, no concelho de Portimão. A mãe, Leonor Cipriano, desdobrou-se em entrevistas à comunicação social onde lamentava o desaparecimento da filha. Poucos dias depois da Polícia Judiciária ter iniciado as investigações, Leonor e o irmão, João Cipriano, foram detidos sob a acusação de homicídio. João Cipriano confessou que esquartejou a menina em três partes mas nunca revelou onde esconderam o corpo. Até hoje o corpo de Joana não foi encontrado o que faz com que os advogados de defesa ainda tenham dúvidas sobre o verdadeiro destino da criança. Nesta reportagem, João Cipriano que permaneceu calado durante todo o julgamento, quebrou o silêncio e concedeu uma entrevista por escrito à RTP.
The case, which has shocked the nation with its account of incest, murder and desecration, took just three days to be tried. The Public Ministry has pressed for jail terms of 24 years for the defendants, who are charged with qualified murder, as well as desecrating and concealing a body.
Joana disappeared, presumed murdered, in the Algarve village of Figueira, near Portimão. She was last seen buying food from a nearby café on the evening of September 12 last year. Prosecutors charge that she came home to find her mother, 34-year-old Leonor Cipriano, and her uncle, 32-year-old João Cipriano, having sex. Fearful that Joana would relate the incident to her stepfather, they allege that the couple decided to kill her. The prosecution also said that the couple had repeatedly mistreated Joana, recounting that she was little more than a “servant” in her own household.
The court heard a catalogue of horrifying details, including an earlier video taped confession from Joana’s uncle in which he related the circumstances of his niece’s murder. This video testimony is now the subject of an appeal from the defence team who claim it should be excluded because the couple exercised their right to remain silent during the trial. In the taped confession, João Cipriano said he and his sister hit Joana who then banged her head against a wall before collapsing, unconscious, onto the floor. João Cipriano claimed that he had wanted to call an ambulance but that his sister prevented him, telling him instead to go to Joana’s stepfather and inform him that she had disappeared.
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