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Leonor Cipriano’s lesions weren’t all caused at the same time - Sol

Two forensic medicine experts said at the Court of Faro today that Leonor Cipriano’s lesions that are documented in photographs that were taken at the prison in Odemira were not all caused within the same time period

“There are lesions to the head, torso, upper member and thorax, but they don’t all have the same temporality because they have different colors”, said pathologist Rosa Maria da Silva, during the sixth session of the trial of the PJ inspectors who are involved in a process of alleged aggressions against Leonor Cipriano, following the investigation into the disappearance of her daughter Joana in 2004.

According to expert Rosa Maria da Silva, who authored a report about Leonor Cipriano’s lesions based on some of the photos that are included in the process, the “lesions were caused by contusing trauma” and its evolution starts with a reddish colour, then a black purple colour (until the third day after the blow), followed by a blue purple colour (until the sixth day after the blow), finishing in a green and finally yellow colour.

Although it has “indicative value” and may vary, this colour scale allows for pathologists to evaluate the trauma temporality.

“A blue lesion was certainly not produced on the day that it was photographed”, the expert alleged, referring that the photographs that she analysed were either “not all taken on the same day” at the Prison in Odemira or “something happened”.

The cause of said lesions, according to the medic, could be either fist blows (active form) or a fall from the stairs (passive form).

“Fist blows cannot be excluded, but it could have not been that, either. It’s not possible to reach major conclusions”, Rosa Maria da Silva admitted.

According to the opinion of another pathologist that was also heard in court today, expert Tânia Maio, the photographs that she analysed also demonstrate that one is looking at “different moments of the lesion” because the “colour and the lesions” differ from one photo to another, but safeguarding that the blood absorption varies according to the area of the body being more or less irrigated by blood.

Expert Tânia Maio further refers that all of the trauma that she saw on the photos resulted from a “contusing form”, but that they could be caused by fist blows (active form) as well as by a fall (passive form), although she stressed that her opinion falls on a “trauma from passive form”, which means a soft body hitting [a surface] and not direct trauma.

Another witness that had been heard during one of the initial sessions of the trial, a computer expert, admitted that the photographs that were taken of Leonor Cipriano with hematoma marks on several parts of her body “could have been manipulated”.

Miguel Custódio, who was summoned to testify by the defense of inspector Marques Bom, one of the five arguidos in the process, said that the photographs passed through a software filter that manipulated them, but that it’s not possible to determine if that manipulation was done without access to the original files.

For Leonor Cipriano’s lawyer, Marcos Aragão, these opinions are irrelevant for the process: “I don’t see any relevance, because these doctors are not witnesses in the process”, he told the journalists.

Defense lawyer Pragal Colaço, on another hand, said that the testimonies from the pathologists “brought a very important fact” into the process, which is the “evolution time of the lesions”.

“The photos could have been taken at different times. There are lesions that are older than others. They are not all contemporary (at the date of the photo session)”, the lawyer observed, referring that it was not possible to obtain any certainties concerning the cause of the trauma being direct fist blows.

The accusations from the Public Ministry against the Polícia Judiciária inspectors appeared after the questioning at the PJ in Faro in 2004, the time at which Leonor appeared at the Prison in Odemira, where she serves a prison sentence, with hematomas in her face and on her body.

Leonor Cipriano and her brother João Cipriano were each condemned to 16 years in prison, for the crimes of homicide and concealment of the cadaver of Joana, the eight-year-old girl who disappeared from the village of Figueira, in Portimão (Algarve) in September of 2004.

source: Sol (with Lusa), 27.11.2008


  1. When are we going to hear the McCanns have been convicted too?

  2. That is a big truth: when are we going to hear the mcs?

    And,because mcs we are "discussing",reading and so on about cipriana.

    We are looking to another side.

  3. This is all not really surprising. What will be interesting to see is whether or not those who are wasting the State's resources, wasting the Court's time, wasting our patience (not to mention committing a few crimes and ruining a few peoples' lives) will be duly held accountable for what they are doing, once this sad pantomime is over.
    It will also be interesting to watch the mcs trying to ignore what used to be one of their favourite 'causes' and one of their major bets to discredit Amaral; and how Expresso covers the end of a process that it created artificially (and to some extent, maliciously).
    The side dishes are even better than the main course - which was rather predictable, anyway.

  4. I wish they would have studied the McCanns case as sharply as they are studying Cipriano.

    I believe they had tryed but they obviously did not succeed.

  5. In the McCann case, the Police were deprived of access to evidence right from the start, with the simulated abduction, the diplomatic pressure, the media exposure supporting the lie and obscuring the truth. In the Cipriano case, there were fewer distractions, but only until the McCanns - Aragao - became involved, and since then the same type of deception has been at work.


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