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Court of Faro admits appeal: Re-trial?

And now Marinho?

The Court of Faro accepted the appeal regarding the admission of the Lawyer's Order (LO) as an assistant to the trial in which the mother of Joana Cipriano, the missing child in the Algarve, has accused current and former PJ inspectors of torture and other crimes.

The appeal submitted by Leonel Marques Morgado, the former PJ inspector acquitted by the Judicial Court of Faro for the crime of torture to Leonor Cipriano, was admitted by Judge Henrique Pavão, in a ruling dated of 23 September 2009, to which the agency Lusa had access, and was forwarded for the consideration of the Evora Appeal's Court.

According to the lawyers involved in the process, if the Evora Appeal's Court understands to make a favorable decision to the appeal, to which the LO failed to respond within the deadline, the process will return to Faro for a re-trial. This time without the intervention of the Lawyer's Order, because the defense of former PJ inspector argues that the LO is an association of public law.

As such, say the former PJ inspector lawyers, the LO only defends the rights and interests of the professional class or of the values that pursues statutorily, and the trial of the current and former inspectors does not fit in these contexts.

At the beginning of the hearings before the Court of Faro in October 2008, the defense of the former inspector had requested in an appeal for the suspension of the order as an assistant, because it was considered "legally unacceptable."

But for the reason that a decision of the Court of Faro would be subsequent to the end of the hearings, the judge decided to continue the hearings until the end and retain the appeal.

In the dispatch made last week, the judge of the Court of Faro considered "controversial" the issue of the LO's intervention on the trial concluded on 22 May 2009, in which Leonor Cipriano accused five current and former PJ inspectors in a process involving crimes of torture and falsification of documents and testimony.(...)

Without determining the authors of aggressions against Joana Cipriano’s mother, the Court of Faro acquitted former PJ inspectors Paulo Pereira Cristóvão and Leonel Morgado Marques, and agent Paulo Marques Bom, of the crimes of torture.

Gonçalo Amaral, who is retired, and António Nunes Cardoso, still working for the PJ, have been condemned over other crimes.

Having been acquitted of the crime of omission of denunciation, Gonçalo Amaral, the former coordinator of the PJ’s Criminal Investigation Department in Portimão, was condemned to one and a half years over the crime of false deposition, with a suspended sentence over the same period.

Inspector António Nunes Cardoso was subject to a sentence of two years and three months over document forgery, with a suspended sentence over the same period.

They have both appealed their sentences, while Marcos Aragão Correia, Leonor Cipriano’s lawyer, considered the sentences insufficient and also requested a new appreciation by the Appeals Court, equally demanding the condemnation of Paulo Pereira Cristóvão, Leonel Morgado Marques and Paulo Marques Bom.

The “Joana case” dates back to 2004. The eight-year-old child disappeared on the 12th of September, in the village of Figueira, Portimão, and the investigation led to the accusation of Leonor Cipriano and her brother, João Cipriano, who were condemned by the first instance court to 18 years each, over the crimes of homicide and cadaver concealment.

In March 2006, following an appeal, the Supreme Court of Justice established a sentence of 16 years in prison for Leonor Cipriano and for João Cipriano.

in Destak/news agency Lusa


  1. It certainly sounds like good news but nothing guarantees the outcome or the protracted nature of the initial trial being repeated in the appeal process.

    I still don't understand why the trial was ever allowed to proceed in the first place with Marinho Pinto, in an unprecedented move, being allowed to be an assistant? He'd hsd heavy involvement in introducing the easy-to-forge photos of Leonor Cipriano (after her alleged beating) into the evidence, thus I believe he should have been in a position to be questioned and cross-examined about the provenance of the photos.

    As far as I understand it, there's No way Marinho Pinto should have been allowed to circumnavigate this basic requirement by declaring himself an assistant at the outset.


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