Thursday, November 6, 2008

When reality is weirder than fiction

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Gonçalo Amaral’s head - Hernâni Carvalho for TvMais

Leonor Cipriano’s lawyer proposed to help the PJ inspectors who stand accused of torture if he was given the head of Gonçalo Amaral. The news was confirmed by himself to tvmais

by Hernâni Carvalho

Gonçalo Amaral’s head against the absolution of the other inspectors – such was the proposal that was made by Leonor’s lawyer to one of the lawyers of the PJ inspectors. The information hit the newsroom at tvmais like a bombshell. “I confirm it”, tvmais was told by Carlos Anjos, the president of ASFIC, the union for the PJ’s Criminal Investigation workers. “Our colleagues’ lawyer (Pragal Colaço) has informed us about said proposal that was made by Leonor Cipriano’s lawyer (Marcos Aragão). Gonçalo Amaral’s head. Concerning the others, one would find a way to clear them.”

If we in the newsroom found this strange, any doubts were dismissed when we contacted Marcos Aragão himself. “Yes, indeed I spoke with Dr Pragal Colaço and I confirm that I proposed to help him in the defense of the other inspectors if they stated that they acted under Gonçalo Amaral’s indication. A reduction of the sentence would be achieved for them”, the lawyer told our magazine. Leonor Cipriano’s lawyer confirmed to us that he is ready to defend the inspectors who stand accused of torturing his client if in exchange an unequivocal condemnation against the PJ’s coordinating inspector, Gonçalo Amaral, was obtained.

Marcos Aragão told tvmais that he is in possession of an email that was written by Paulo Cristóvão to another PJ inspector where he states that he was given carte blanche by Gonçalo Amaral to beat up Leonor Cipriano. We contacted Paulo Cristóvão. The former PJ inspector told us, laconically, that the affirmation “doesn’t even deserve a comment. We shall see what happens in the appropriate location, which is a court hearing”.

Concerning the deal, António Cabrita, Gonçalo Amaral’s lawyer, told us: “I don’t know those affirmations. Dr Gonçalo Amaral trusts the Portuguese justice that he served for 27 years. Those deals have no validity whatsoever in the Portuguese penal system. Here, the court only appreciates facts, not deals”.

“An inspector sits on the bench, accused of forgery, but it was the chief of the prison guards who went to court to state that the director of the prison of Odemira (Ana Maria Calado) ordered him to change a document, which he refused.” Carlos Anjos from ASFIC/PJ finds this strange. “I have yet to understand what stands behind all this. Dr Marcos Aragão is more committed to ruining the credibility of Gonçalo Amaral and the PJ in the McCanns case than concerned about Leonor Cipriano’s pain”, he said.

The truth is that contradictions and certificates is what has been mostly seen at the Court in Faro. During the sessions of the trial of the five PJ inspectors who stand accused of torturing Leonor Cipriano, requests follow upon requests for certificates to file new complaints. Both from the accusation and from the defense. Among accusations and counter-accusations, the collective of judges which is led by Henrique Pavão (three judges, four jurors) has already complained about the fact that bureaucratic issues are delaying the process.

What is known for certain is that on the 13th of October [2004], Leonor confessed to murdering her daughter Joana. And it is known that she did so in the presence of her lawyer, Célia Costa, who confirms that she didn’t see anyone assaulting Leonor. The process that was opened by the Public Ministry (PM) over alleged aggressions against Leonor Cipriano refers the 15th of October. But the PM failed to determine who committed the aggressions. The PJ inspectors stand accused of having created conditions for the actions to be carried out. In those days, Leonor Cipriano was preventively detained in Odemira prison and the PJ was searching for her daughter Joana or what was left of her. Two days after she confessed to killing her daughter Leonor, in the presence of her lawyer, Leonor Cipriano returned to the prison in Odemira with hematomas to her face. At that time, she stated that she had fallen and the guards wrote a report. Now, she says that she was assaulted with fists and kicks and with a cardboard tube.

Why did Leonor dismiss Grade?

“I don’t know.” Leonor Cipriano’s former lawyer told us that he heard about his dismissal “from a journalist who asked me if I had been set apart. As I knew nothing about it, I denied it. It was only later that I read an email from my colleague Marcos Aragão. That was how I found out that I had been dismissed from the defense of Mrs Leonor because she signed a document that revoked my power of attorney and hired another lawyer. I know through my colleague that she stated she was not happy with me because I didn’t attack Dr Gonçalo Amaral frontally and that she felt better supported while being defended by my colleague”.

Leonor’s contradictions

Leonor sometimes remembers and sometimes forgets. First, she said that she had seen who assaulted her, but later she denied it. First, she said that there was a blue plastic bag over her head but soon she declared it was “green or blue”. During the inquiry, she said that she had been “aggressed more than once”, but now, during the trial, she stated it happened only once. She said she knew the time (around 8 p.m.) because she had looked at the clock in the room where she had been beaten. During the trial, she described the room without said clock. There were several contradictions from Leonor, but one of her sentences stuck to everyone’s memory. “I don’t remember having confessed”, she told the court.

source: Tvmais, 05.11.2008, paper edition

by astro


helmylin2 said...

Hi Cláudia,

"What a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive". Never have truer words been spoken.

I just can't believe how far a certain couples fingers reach. Their fingers seem to be in lots of nasty pies.

Cláudia said...

Hi, Helmylin2!
I have to say that I believe almost anything, lately. Currently, it's not easy to surprise me.

mandarinn said...

Claudia, i weatched ,in yesterday sic program "CASOS DE POLICIA" Moita Flores, Encarnação Anjos and Arrobas, speaking about the ongoing trial on PJ inspectores.By what they all said it was clear the behaviour of LC's lawyer (or have i say Mccns lawyer?) is not only unecthical but also shows Aragão don0t master portuguese law and is acting as he saw in tv american series.
It was clear also by the words of Anjos, they will never less
GA to fell down

Cláudia said...

Hi, Mandarinn.
I watched a part of that too.
And I agreed with every word. That lawyer must have been distracted during his classes...

Anonymous said...

Boa noite

Pelo que vejo perdi um bom programa! Existe alguma previsão para quando é que acaba este julgamento da pessoa Leonor contra os ex-Pj´s?



Cláudia said...

Olá, Paulinha.
Eu também não apanhei o programa todo.
Um passarito verde cantou-me ao ouvido que é capaz ainda de durar umas semanas. Também depende do número de sessões por semana, etc.