Corruption trial hears crucial evidence

The trial of Albufeira’s Brigada de Trânsito officers accused of corruption charges has heard key evidence from a businessman connected to a building firm that worked on the A2 and Via do Infante road. The businessman, whose manner was described as “nervous” throughout his testimony, claimed that one of the defendants, Sergeant Garcia, had wanted to receive “five escudos per cubic metre of materials transported or 15 contos per month”.

The businessman also admitted to attending two dinners with other businessmen and the sergeant in question, at the end of which an envelope stuffed full of euros, was confiscated by the Judicial Police. But he was evasive when asked if anyone from the Brigada de Trânsito had threatened him and repeatedly denied ever having given any money to the officer in question. This denial came in spite of two recordings of telephone conversations being played in court, during which a businessman organising the dinners was heard talking to the sergeant and alluding to a “little matter requiring attention” between the construction firm’s drivers and the defendant. Later in the phone conversation, the businessman is heard referring to “bringing something inside an envelope”.

The court also heard testimony from another businessman belonging to a tow truck firm in Messines, who accused the defendants of thwarting his work from as long ago as 1995. “I was despatched to the scene of many accidents, but officers always sent me away, saying they had already summoned another trailer,” he said.