BPP banker leaves country just as time ‘runs out’ for avoiding jail

BPP banker João Rendeiro has left Portugal for the United Kingdom just as time runs out on all the attempts to avoid a jail sentence handed out three years ago for fraud.

As Expresso explains: “the journey coincides with his trying, once again, to avoid detention after the Constitutional Court put the ‘full stop’ on his first judicial conviction coming from the collapse of BPP”.

It is not unusual for Mr Rendeiro to travel, the paper concedes. He has done so in the past – always advising authorities if the trip is to exceed five days – “but in this case, it happens just as his conviction is due to become definitive”.

In the meantime, his defence lawyer has put in a new request constituting yet another form of potential appeal that will now have to go through a tortuous process involving various courts.

From a practical point of view, says Observador online – and just as the prison sentences of both Mr Rendeiro and co-defendant Paulo Guichard are on the verge of becoming  “res judicata” (meaning, final and unappealable) – both men are outside national and even EU territory. This means that in spite of everything seemingly stacked up against them, they “can travel freely wherever they want. They do not even need authorisation. They simply need to inform the authorities”.

Back in 2018 when Mr Rendeiro first received his jail sentence – nine years on from being suspended by the Bank of Portugal for alleged fraud and eight years since BPP collapsed, owing €1.6 billion (see below)- national media said there was very little likelihood that he would ever spend any time behind bars (click here), nor that he would even pay his fines (click here).

As Observador remarks today: “It is normal that there are two or more speeds in the unappealable transit of cases against different defendants…”

In the legendary corruption case known as Face Oculta, for example – which saw all defendants spend years on appeals – some are finally serving jail time (click here), while the ‘kingpin’ in the case is still living in freedom.

BPP Creditors still waiting, 11 years on

Expresso reports today that BPP’s collapse left more than 6,000 creditors claiming €1.6 billion.

The paper explains there is a “war” ongoing in the bank’s liquidation process that hasn’t got near to paying ‘common creditors’ yet, despite 11 years having passed.

A group of 12 creditors is complaining that the Liquidation Committee is dragging its feet – when “the impossibility of fully satisfying recognised common creditors” is already a given, says the paper.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com