pedro dias.jpg

Controversy as suspected police killer Pedro Dias remanded in custody

Since staging his own surrender to authorities last Tuesday, Portugal’s “most wanted man” Pedro Dias has become one of the country’s most high profile prisoners.

Appearing before magistrates yesterday, he was booed and jeered by crowds shouting “assassin” and “murderer”.

Popular newspapers like Correio da Manhã have given pages over to the case, trashing any possibility that Dias could be innocent, as a TV interview due to be screened by RTP tonight will hear him claim.

CM says the evidence against Dias is “just too detailed”. But there are gaps – and these centre on evidence that would prove without doubt Dias’ involvement.

CM calls it the “game, set and match” of the investigation: the guns with which he is alleged to have shot dead GNR agent Carlos Caetano, shot Caetano’s partner António Ferreira and then gunned down local man Luís Pinto.

Reports are hazy about whether Dias is meant to have shot Pinto’s wife Liliane, still recovering in a coma, or whether he used the barrel of a gun to bludgeon her over the head.

But none of these theories can be proved without evidence, explains CM.

Thus searches are still ongoing, as Dias’ lawyers have said they plan to appeal the terms of his remand, as their client’s claim is that he “didn’t do it”.

According to CM, Dias is trying to shift the blame onto “innocents”, two brothers known for thefts in the Aguiar da Beira area.

CM is calling it the “perfect crime” ruined only by the survival of one of the GNR agents, whose testimony now is “fulcral”.

António Ferreira is sticking to his original story which implicates Dias, says CM.

Friends of the father-of-two however say they believe in his innocence.

The family doctor Vítor Brandão told CM: “As I don’t know what happened, I cannot comment on the facts in question. But I do know that the majority of serious crimes are committed by people whom society sees as untouchable. And we all know that there are moments in which we make mistakes, some more serious than others”.

Neighbours have told reporters that they believe “there are more people implicated in this case”. But it is basically just ‘noise’: endless media commentary on how Dias was dubbed a sociopath during an investigation for domestic violence in 2011, and how this could simply be a case of him “lying with all his teeth”.

Dias has “refused a lie detector test”, claims CM, and he has also apparently refused to give a DNA sample.

For now, he is remanded in custody facing nine charges: two of aggravated homicide, three of attempted aggravated homicide, three of kidnap and one of theft.

The friend of the family in whose house Dias was found to be sheltering has also been made an ‘arguida’ (official suspect) and faces a charge of harbouring a fugitive from justice.

Anyone keen to hear Dias’ side of this story, should tune into Sexta às 9 tonight on RTP, while CM stresses that Dias was given the opportunity to give his version of events yesterday in court but “remained silent”.

[email protected]