Joana case: Public Ministry accuses former PJ inspector Gonçalo Amaral of torture on Leandro Silva
Lisboa, 01 Jul (Lusa) – The Public Ministry has accused former Polícia Judiciária inspector Gonçalo Amaral of aggression on Leandro Silva, the partner of Leonor Cipriano, who was condemned over homicide and concealment of the cadaver of her daughter Joana Cipriano, in 2004, in the Algarve.
According to documents from the Public Ministry, to which Lusa agency was given access, Gonçalo Amaral stands accused of a crime of torture in co-authorship.
The accusation mentions that on the 13th of October 2004, in the PJ building in Portimão, the former inspector grabbed Leandro Silva’s neck and punched him twice in the abdomen and slapped him twice in the face, while asking him to indicate where the child (Joana) was.
As a direct consequence of said aggressions, further according to the Public Ministry, Leandro suffered several lesions, namely a “contusion of the back grid” that prevented him from working for five days.
In May, the court in Faro condemned Gonçalo Amaral to one-and-half year of suspended prison sentence, over false testimony in the case of aggressions against Leonor Cipriano.
It was considered proved that Leonor Cipriano was aggressed at the PJ by non identified Judiciária officers, and did not fall down the stairs, as had been suggested.
Nevertheless, the court failed to determine who the authors of said aggressions were.
This case dates back to 2004 and is related to the so-called “Joana case”, which concerns the disappearance, on the 12th of September of the same year, of an eight-year-old girl from the village of Figueira, Portimão.
The Public Ministry’s accusations against five actual and former Judiciária inspectors appeared after the questionings at the PJ in Faro in 2004, at a time when Leonor reportedly appeared with lesions to her face and body at the Prison of Odemira, where she was under preventive custody.
Joana’s mother and her uncle João Cipriano were condemned by the Supreme Court of Justice to 16 years in prison each, over the crimes of homicide and concealment of the child’s cadaver.
source: Público/Lusa, 01.07.2009