Death of Ukrainian at Lisbon airport opens ‘Pandora’s Box’ that could see Portugal in the dock

The horrific death of father-of-two Ihor Homenyuk – allegedly at the hands of three heavy-fisted airport borders agency inspectors (click here) – has opened a veritable Pandora’s Box that could see Portugal itself ‘in the dock’.

First, the dead man’s wife has applied to become an assistant in the Ministry Public case against her husband’s alleged killers, saying much of the ‘information’ furnished so far has been fabricated.

Explain reports in Portugal, the woman could end up suing not only the three men accused of beating her husband to the point that he died an agonisingly slow death, but she could claim damages from the Portuguese State as well, for failing to guarantee her husband’s safety.

The Ukrainian press has seized on this incident and used it to claim that “abuses by immigration services at Lisbon airport are recurrent”.

Says Expresso, “almost all the (Ukrainian) papers refer to an alleged attempt to cover-up of the causes of death”.

Indeed they hail as ‘heroic’ the decision by the doctor to call in the PJ after he suspected he was not being told the truth about how Homenyuk came to die with his hands handcuffed behind his back.

“All the articles describe Ihor Homenyuk as a calm, well-meaning man, discrediting the version of the SEF inspectors who claim he caused disturbances at the time of his detention on March 11 after landing in Lisbon with a tourist visa on a flight from Turkey”, says Expresso.

As we reported previously, the three inspectors have been remanded in custody under house arrest (without electronic tags) pending further investigations.

They were spared jail to reduce pressure on the overloaded prison system which is already planning to release inmates as a way of avoiding a Covid-19 ‘catastrophe’. But it has been criticised, on the basis that the men are being charged with murder and have essentially ‘gone home’ to their families – which Ihor Homenyuk will never be able to do.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com