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
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
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
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.