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Court Acquits Accused Parties of Defaming Goncalo Amaral 

Original Source: jornal_de_noticias: 18 July 2012

Translated by Ines


Goncalo Amaral

This Tuesday, Faro Court acquitted Aragao Correia, Leonor Cipriano’s lawyer – mother of the girl who disappeared from the Algarve in 2004 -, as well as professor Antonio Pedro Dores, of having defamed, the ex PJ inspector Goncalo Amaral.


Aragao Correia and the president of the Association Agaist Exclusion for Development (ACED), Antonio Pedro Dores, were accused of having defamed the ex – inspector, who almost eight years ago investigated the disappearance of Joana, Leonor Cipriano’s daughter.


In the summing up, the judge stated that the necessary conditions had not been met in order to even consider the legal possibility of sentencing Antonio Pedro Dores, president of ACED, who published the “Report On the Torture of Leonor Cipriano Perpetrated by the Policía Judiciaria”, the subject of the law suit brought by Goncalo Amaral.


As regards Marcos Aragao Correia, the acquittal confirmed his compliance with the civil duty of denouncing acts of torture, an obligation of every citizen, and, on the other hand gave as proven that Leonor Cipriano’s lawyer was convinced that Goncalo Amaral was even a participant in the acts of torture against Joana’s mother.


Upon learning of the acts committed against Leonor Cipriano – whose existence, already the subject of an independent judgement, was not questioned by the court – by means of a conservation with his client, Aragao Correia was convinced of the truthfulness of the version he heard, which, in the Court’s understanding, annulled the seriousness of its publication.


However, based upon the witness statements heard – including that of Leonor Cipriano -, the Court did not admit as proven that Goncalo Amaral had been present at the acts of torture nor that he had coordinated the team which afflicted them.


Nevertheless, the judgement alleged that Aragao Correia knew that publicly attributing those acts to someone could constitute material “that was damaging to his honour and dignity”, however he did this in the conviction that Leonor had told him the truth.



In 2009, Goncalo Amaral was sentenced to a one and a half year suspended sentence for making a false statement in the trial of the ex – PJ inspectors and officers, accused of torturing Joana’s mother.


The ex – inspector considers that the ACED report was “damaging to his honour and personal and professional considerations”, which is why he decided to bring a complaint for defamation against Aragao Correia and the president of the association.


The Public Ministry requested the acquittal of both men, alleging that this was not a case of defamation, as all evidence pointed to the existence of torture, in spite of the fact that it has never been proven exactly who was responsible.


Heard as a witness during the final sessions of the trial, Leonor described that the inspectors placed a bag over her head, beat her all over her body and hit her with a phone book and a hard cardboard object.


Allegedly, the acts of aggression took place after she had been forced to kneel on two glass ashtrays, which according to her, had been supplied by Goncalo Amaral himself.


Leonor and the missing girl’s uncle, Joao Cipriano, were sentenced in November 2004 to 20 years and four months and to 19 years and two months imprisonment respectively, for the crimes of qualified homicide and hiding of a body.


Following an appeal, Leonor Cipriano’s sentence was reduced to 16 years and eight months.


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