Rui Pedro Case: News Updates
The leads that allegedly connected the case of Rui Pedro to paedophile networks were closed
The leads that were supposed to connect the disappearance of Rui Pedro, 13 years ago, to international paedophile networks were closed during the investigation, which passed into the hands of the Central Department for Penal Action and Investigation (“DCIAP”) in 2003.
“Now we reached indicia that the Public Ministry considers to be sufficient, as the other leads to international paedophilia have been closed, the leads that had to be explored until exhaustion have been closed. This happens now because we already had enough indicia for an accusation”, Cândida Almeida, the DCIAP’s director, said in a statement to Lusa today.
The main suspect in the disappearance of Rui Pedro, who was last seen on the 4th of Marcho f 1998, has been accused of the crime of abduction. Afonso Dias was notified of this accusation on Saturday.
Today, Cândida Almeida recalled that “the process was handed over to DCIAP in 2003” and “at that time, an entire investigation had to be started all over, as if the process was new”.
“This kind of process is very complicated. There were several circumstances that delayed it, that prevented a swifter judgement of suspicion, as would be desirable. There were rogatory letters send abroad, several leads that were followed up and that had to be closed”, she said.
According to the Public Ministry’s magistrate, the process would have prescribed in 2008 “if nobody had been questioned”. “But the arguido had already been questioned, therefore the deadline was suspended”.
Cândida Almeida explained that “during 30 days, both the assistant (Rui Pedro’s family) and the arguido may request the instruction of the process”.
The accusation “will eventually be subject to instruction or will be evaluated later on during the trial, where this arguido’s guilt will either be proved or not”.
It will only be during the instruction phase that “eventual coercion measures against Afonso Dias will be issued”.
The DCIAP’s director added that the formal version of the accusation is dated February 7, but that they knew there would be an accusation brought forward since January.
To Cândida Almeida, this accusation is “half a justice”.
“We wanted to go until the end of the world. Whomever sees the process will see and understand that there were highs and lows. But the paedophilia lead, there is no indicia whatsoever, all of the suspicions were closed and the rogatory letters were carried out”, she stated.
The magistrate stressed that “it is also important to safeguard the arguido’s rights”.
“We at the Public Ministry think that there is enough indicia, but that is subject to a judge’s decision”, she said.
Rui Pedro was seen for the last time on the 4th of March, 2008, in Lousada, at the age of eleven.
in: SOL, 27.02.2011
Rui Pedro: Cândida Almeida has a «tranquil conscience»
The DCIAP’s director stresses the work that has been carried out in the case until na accusation against Afonso Dias was reached, but denies new evidence about the boy’s whereabouts
This afternoon, Cândida Almeida spoke to TVI24 about the new developments in the case of “Rui Pedro”, the teenager who has been missing since 1998. Nothing is known about the boy’s whereabouts yet, but the Public Ministry has accused Afonso Dias of abduction. The director of the Central Department for Penal Action and Investigation (DCIAP) said that “there was almost a “reinvestigation” until this accusation was reached, but that there is no new data concerning Rui Pedro’s whereabouts.
“All the leads were followed up. Nobody ever gave up. On the contrary, the family’s cooperation was requested, as well as the cooperation of Dr Ricardo Sá Fernandes [the family’s lawyer], and therefore, everyone together, managed to never give up”, she stressed during a telephone contact.
Concerning the leads that were followed in order to try and find Rui Pedro, “they all proved to produce no results”, she said, praising “the exceptional work and the capacity of resistance and dedication and the technical and human qualities of the magistrate, Mr Vitor Magalhães, and of the PJ’s team, who were tireless, who followed up on every lead, who sent several rogatory letters abroad”.
The DCIAP’s director devalued the time that it took to produce an accusation against Afonso Dias. When questioned about whether or not she thinks that it took too long, she stated: “No, I would say the contrary. We have managed to obtain enough indicia. Both at a national and at an international level, there are processes that are shelved, others have taken years”.
Cândida Almeida denied the existence of new facts about the case, explaining that what happened was a re-evaluation of all the existing data. “The PJ’s team, together with the magistrate, made a sort of reconstitution of that day and the days that followed”, she said. “There was almost a re-investigation until this accusation was reached”.
Concerning the statement that was made by the head of the Lawyers’ Order, Marinho Pinto, who criticised the delay in producing the accusation and demanded na explanation from the Attorney General, Cândida Almeida merely said: “If the Attorney General thinks he should make a statement, it will bem very clearly made, without problems”.
“We do not have a heavy conscience, quite to the contrary”, she added.
in: TVI24, 27.02.2011