In another bizarre trial involving a former leading PJ police detective and three PSP policemen, a convicted drug trafficker is quoted as having said that a number of Portuguese VIPs have given him money, because they are his “friends” – including the song-belting sister of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kátia Aveiro.
The allegation made by Celso Cota came yesterday, and has failed to elicit any comment either way from Aveiro herself.
The 39-year-old elder sister of Portugal’s football legend has only recently been performing in Madrid on the wings of her brother’s Champions League success.
Meantime, Cota is just one of the defendants sitting in the dock alongside former PJ cop Paulo Cristóvão – a man who left the service years ago to briefly head-up the APCD (association for missing children) before become vice-president of Sporting Football Club.
Last week, in a separate case focusing on his performance at Sporting, Cristóvão was convicted to a total of four-and-a-half years in jail – sentence suspended – for two crimes of embezzlement, the illicit use of Sporting’s property and goods and the crime of ‘illegitimate access’.
He was also ordered to pay €40,000 to a referee he had tried to frame for taking bribes, and €17,500 to a list of others affected by his schemes.
But the current trial is all about armed robberies that took place in and around Lisbon just over two years ago and for which the police involved are accused of wearing their own uniforms to gain access to victims’ homes.
With the welter of evidence said to be against him, Cristóvão may not emerge from this trial with a suspended sentence – but only time will tell.
Yesterday, one of his co-accused denied the robberies, calling them instead “collections” (presumably of monies due).
The leader of Juve Leo (Sporting’s young supporters), whose alias is Mustafa, told the court: “Paulo told me about a collection from a house in Cascais. There was meant to be one million euros in the house. In the end there was only 80,000. He told me half the money would be for him and the other half for whoever went to the house to make the collection. But as it didn’t earn what was expected, Paulo told me he would organise another in a house on Lisbon’s Brazil avenue. In this house, there was no money at all, which left me looking bad in front of the others (meaning, other members of the group). Paulo then told me about another collection in the Algarve, but I didn’t want to hear. I never spoke with him again. I got out completely as the situation was not for me”.
Also apparently out of the situation is another defendant remanded under house arrest who appears, said the presiding judge, to be in “parts unknown for the last 48 hours”.