Liars and fantasists... there have been a fair few over the years. So many that one could be tempted to write a bewk about them... Or has that already been done?
Here's another one...
Leonor Cipriano, accused of an incestuous relationship with her brother, murdering her 8 year old daughter, Joana and disposing of her body by feeding her to the pigs. Absolutely barbaric. Alongside her lover/brother, she was found guilty and sentenced to 16 years in prison. She later claimed she was tortured into confessing, but police said Cipriano tried to commit suicide by throwing herself off a staircase.
The trial commenced... 5 officers stood accused of torture. As co-ordinator of the PJ in Faro at that time, Goncalo Amaral was also made arguido.
Although the judges considered that Cipriano had been beaten, it could not be established by whom. We all know that child rapists and murderers do not fare well in prison, and I can imagine a long line of prisoners vying for their own piece of Cipriano pie.
With no witnesses to the alleged torture acts, the final ruling ended up being based on the reports from forensic experts, which were not founded on a physical examination of Cipriano, but rather on photographs that had been published years earlier by Expresso, and whose authenticity is still questioned.
Three inspectors, Leonel Marques, Pereira Cristovao and Paulo Marques Bom, were all acquitted and cleared of torture.
Senor Amaral was cleared of a charge of failing to report a crime but found guilty of perjury because he upheld, under oath the version that he had been given by his subordinates, that Cipriano had been injured when she tried to commit suicide. This was considered to be a false testimony because the facts that Sr Amaral testified to, could not be proved. His defence was that he could not have given another version of the facts because this was what the inspectors who witnessed the episode, reported to him.
António Nunes Cardoso's report merely described the manner in which Cipriano fell on the stairs. Upon considering that she had been beaten by someone, this automatically removed the value of Cardoso's report. He was found guilty of falsifying documents and given a two-and-a-half year suspended jail sentence.
The jurors and the collective of judges at the Court of Faro considered that Cipriano's deposition had "no credibility". According to judge Henrique Pavão, she changed her version several times and lightly accused persons of aggressing her, based on a list of names that she carried into the court room. "She lied about the identification of the aggressors and she lied about other crucial aspects," the judge mentioned.
Concerning the photographs that were taken of Leonor, which were included in the process, the collective considered that they were "of weak quality" and that therefore, "it was not possible to conclude safely about what really happened".
Which leads us onto the recent news that Cipriano's lawyer, Marcos Aragão Correia and Pedro Antonio, president of ACED will be tried in early February for the alleged defamation of Goncalo Amaral. At issue is a document dated 8th April 2008 and entitled “Report on Torture Leonor Cipriano”. The section below appears to be the offending passage...
"At the request of prosecutors, Leonor Cipriano tried to identify the inspectors that tortured her. In her mind, she was transported to Evora in 2006 to try to recognize some of the torturers from the six inspectors. Unfortunately, given the lapse of time, and with a bag over her head many times when attacked, and the possibility of not being on-site recognition of all offenders, Leonor was only able to say with absolute certainty, Gonçalo Amaral, the then coordinator of the DIC of Portimão, was present during interrogation, watching the torture with ease, because every time she uncovered her eyes and was beaten, he was there, walking from one side to another, without ever attempting to stop the torture carried out by his subordinates."
Marcos Aragão Correia
Senor Amaral is suing each arguido for €3000. A rather low sum, you may say... however we all know that taking such action in Portugal is all about writing the wrongs and not for monetary gain. Perhaps the reason that the McCanns never sued the Portuguese press, yet settled out of court with the British media for later printing the very same newspaper reports. Remind me just who the money-grubbers are...