Appeal against Madeira Corruption Decision:

Public Ministry to Contest Release of Former Mayor and Businessmen

Journalists crown court as an Appeal is made against Madeira Corruption Decision:

It was announced late last night that the Public Ministry will appeal against the application of the less serious precautionary measure to the former mayor of Funchal Pedro Calado and the businessmen Avelino Farinha and Custódio Correia, investigated on suspicion of corruption in Madeira.

“The Public Ministry will file an appeal”, an official source from the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) told Lusa, in relation to the decision of judge Jorge Bernardes de Melo, of the Central Criminal Instruction Court (TCIC) of Lisbon, who determined today in the afternoon the “immediate” release of the defendants.

The TCIC magistrate also decided to apply a term of identity and residence to the former president of the municipality of Funchal Pedro Calado (PSD), as well as to businessmen Avelino Farinha, leader of the AFA construction group, and Custódio Correia, main shareholder of the group linked to civil construction Socicorreia.

Defendents must await further terms of the process

Appeal against Madeira Corruption Decision: 1

“If the defendant Custódio Ferreira Correia, the defendant José Avelino Aguiar Farinha and/or the defendant Pedro Miguel Amaro de Bettencourt Calado are not accused of committing any crime, they must await the further terms of the process subject to the measure of coercion of identity and residence”, states the judge’s order.

On Friday, the Public Prosecutor’s Office had requested preventive detention, the most serious measure, for the three defendants in the corruption case.

The term of identity and residence, which is mandatory when someone is accused, consists of identifying the person and indicating their residence, as well as the obligation to appear before the authorities whenever there is a notification.

The defendant cannot change residence or be absent for more than five days without communicating the place where he can be found.

On January 24, the Judiciary Police (PJ) carried out around 130 home and non-home searches, mainly in Madeira, but also in the Azores and in several areas of the continent, as part of a process that investigates suspicions of active and passive corruption, economic participation in business, malfeasance, receiving or offering an undue advantage, abuse of powers and influence peddling.

That day, the PJ detained the then-mayor of Funchal, who had since resigned from his position, and the two businessmen.

The president of the Regional Government of Madeira (PSD/CDS-PP), Miguel Albuquerque, was accused and ended up resigning from his position, which resulted in the dismissal of the executive.

At stake in the process are suspicions of active and passive corruption, economic participation in business, malfeasance, receiving or offering an undue advantage, abuse of powers and influence peddling, according to the PJ.

According to court documents to which Lusa had access, the Public Ministry states that the social democrat Miguel Albuquerque, Pedro Calado and Avelino Farinha established, “over time, a relationship of particular closeness and trust” that will have benefited that group business “in violation of the rules of free competition and public procurement”.
Among the contracts subject to criminal investigation, the court documents indicate, are the concession of public road passenger transport service on the island of Madeira, the concession of the Curral das Freiras Cable Car, the Praia Formosa requalification project and Funchal Jazz 2022 -2023.

4 thoughts on “Appeal against Madeira Corruption Decision:”

  1. The Public Ministry manages to bring down 2 governments in 3 months, with criminal investigation judges not finding any evidence of the crimes charged by the Public Ministry in these 2 cases. It’s work!! But from the condemnation of the public square, those involved are no longer free. The Holy Inquisition of public opinion (which can be seen in the comments to this news) has already condemned them to the stake.

    Reply
    • I think the biggest problem the defendants will have in tryingto prove their innocence is the legth of time they were held – observers will assume there must have been something amiss for them to have been detained for three weeks. Even those willing to give them the benefit of the doubt will want some recent public contracts scrutinised and questions answered. And then just wait until allegations about EU money being unfairly allocated, Cristian Ronaldo becomingng involved in rumours …. believe me, this story has a long way to run.

      Reply
      • Admin, they have no reason to try to prove their innocence, it has been announced they are innocent and free to depart the court. The length of time, considering there were strikes by members of the court, doesn’t concern me. That an operation of this size, and I’m sure recent public contracts were scrutinised, although we will never know, that not one jot of wrong doing does. But of course all proceedings were held behind closed doors. I have read of no bail requests; it seems no witnesses have been questioned; we are prevented from knowing if the defendants were questioned, no jury to decide a verdict, only the examining judge with all evidence and legal argument being kept from the press and therefore the public. Harry, in a previous answer, talks of damages being sought for the length of time in custody served. Me I’d just keep my head down and go back to doing what I’ve always done.

        Reply

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