Joana Case: Prison director will be subject to criminal complaint - Diário Digital
The defense lawyer for the PJ inspectors in the process concerning the alleged assault on Leonor Cipriano is going to file a criminal complaint against the director of the prison of Odemira, Ana Maria Calado.
During the second session of the trial of elements of the PJ concerning the alleged assault on Leonor Cipriano within the investigations into the disappearance of her daughter Joana, one of the witnesses, a prison guard in Odemira who is presently working in Silves, admitted that the prison’s director had commented that it would be best to change a report that he had written about the mother, who had been condemned to 16 years over the child’s death.
“Do you think this is correct? Do you think that she fell down the stairs?”, were the questions asked by Ana Maria Calado, the hierarchical superior to prison guard António Maia, who admitted that “after a report that he wrote about Leonor’s lesions” the director “made remarks in order to change the information”.
In his report, the prison guard of the Prison of Odemira, António Maia, stated that Leonor Cipriano explained the bruises that she presented on her face with a “fall from the stairs” in the Polícia Judiciária’s building in Faro after she had “felt dizzy” following a day of questioning.
The prison guard further stated that Leonor’s bruises became more visible over the four or five days after the 15th of October 2004, the day of the questioning, and was taken to the local Health Centre twice.
The prison guard also stated that he was alerted to the “suicidal tendencies” of the woman, who was under “continuous video surveillance” due to that fact, and that there was even a situation when she was fumbling with her shoelaces and the guards immediately removed the shoelaces from her due to the possibility that she could hang herself.
The prison guard’s statements led the defense lawyer of four Judiciária inspectors, Pragal Colaço, to request the jury tribunal to extract a full certificate of António Maia’s deposition for the effect of a criminal procedure against the director of the prison of Odemira, Ana Maria Calado.
At the end of the second session of the trial, which was marked by several contradictions and inconsistencies in Leonor Cipriano’s statements, the lawyer for the arguido Gonçalo Amaral, the former inspector who stands accused of “false testimony” and “omission of the duty of denunciation”, requested for the prison of Odemira to append the registry of Leonor Cipriano’s visits, including those from the lawyer.
Lawyer António Cabrita further requested for the prison guards that accompanied Leonor Cipriano during the present and the anterior session of the trial to be identified, in order to establish whether there had been any contacts made with the prisoner, apart from inside the prison.
During the afternoon session of the trial, two agents from the Judiciária in Faro who had participated in the investigation into the Joana case were heard as witnesses, as well as a lawyer, Célia Costa, who heard Leonor Cipriano on the 13th of October, the day when she was questioned over many hours by former PJ inspector Paulo Pereira Cristóvão.
According to witness Célia Costa, the questioning that took place on the 13th of October 2004 was done in a “correct” but “lengthy” manner, lasting from lunch time until around midnight.
The Joana case dates back to the 12th of September 2004, the day when the little girl, aged eight, disappeared from the village of Figueira, in the county of Portimão, Algarve, and whose mother, Leonor Cipriano, and her uncle João Cipriano (both siblings) were 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 fulfilling her sentence in the prison in Odemira, Joana’s mother was preventively detained and was questioned several times by inspectors at the PJ’s directory in Faro.
The Public Ministry’s accusations against the Judiciária’s inspectors appeared following the interrogation sessions at the PJ in Faro, with three inspectors standing accused of the crime of torture, one standing accused of failing to provide help and omission of denunciation, and a fifth one standing accused of forgery of document.
source: Diário Digital, 29.10.2008