Rui Pedro Case: Court of Lousada starts evidenciary debate today
Declaring himself as a victim of an accusation «without factual basis», Afonso Dias questions in his petition to the process for the opening of the criminal proceedings, the statements of the key accusation witnesses - of those who were minors at the date of the facts, and also of a prostitute.
The defence also makes reference to the alleged lack of existence of technical evidence that could prove the presence of Rui Pedro in his car, at the time of the facts, in March 4, 1998.
The lawyer for the family of Rui Pedro, Ricardo Sá Fernandes, excused himself from advancing the argumentation that he will use in the evidenciary debate relative to the circumstantial evidence gathered by the investigators.
Sá Fernandes regretted the «huge delay» in the accusation brought forward by the Public Ministry [February 2011], but he is glad that there was an accusation, and considered that this step means «hope» for the parents.
The accusation for Rui Pedro case, who was 11 years old at the time of his disappearance, was deduced on February 11 of this year, based on the «strong probability» of Afonso Dias having driven the minor, in the early afternoon [of that day], for a sexual meeting with prostitutes in the EN 106 [National Road number] on the way to Lousada- Vistosa, in the area of Lustosa.
After that, Rui Pedro, who suffered from epilepsy, a condition that required a daily intake of a medicine, was never seen again despite efforts that stretched abroad and had the help of Interpol.
The investigation believes that Afonso Dias knows what took place afterwards, but does not wish to tell and accuses him of the practice of the crime of qualified kidnapping.
In the accusation report, it is defended that the alleged kidnapper lacks a satisfactory alibi to justify what he did between 14.00 and 18.45 on the day the boy disappeared.
in TSF, May 26, 2011
Update: Decision will be known on July 6, 2011.