CCTV footage of the three SEF inspectors leaving the room in which Ihor Homeniuk was left to die in agony

Appeals court refuses to reduce jail terms for death of Ihor Homeniuk

The three former SEF inspectors jailed over the hideous death of Ukrainian job-seeker Ihor Homeniuk at Lisbon airport last year (click here) have seen appeals for a reduction in their prison terms overruled.

The Lisbon appeals court actually increased one of the sentences to ensure it equated with the nine years handed down to two of the men.

The trial in May saw Duarte Laja and Luís Silva both jailed for nine years, while colleague Bruno Sousa received only seven as prosecutors understood that his level of guilt was less than that of his colleagues, as he had been “influenced by them”.

Now, this reduction in guilt has been dispensed with. All three are being treated the same – a fact that has been described by José Gaspar Schwalbach, the lawyer representing Ihor Homeniuk’s family, as “positive”.

The death of Mr Homeniuk was one of the many stains on the reputations of SEF and indeed former minister for Interior Administration Eduardo Cabrita.

The Portuguese State has indemnified Mr Homeniuk’s family for the loss of their loved one (click here); but not before immense criticism over its failure to react to the tragedy more swiftly (click here).

SEF (foreigners and borders agency) was due to be dismantled this year, but its stay of execution has been extended to ensure border posts remain ‘reinforced’ during the new wave of Covid infections.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com