On Interpol’s most-wanted list and remaining in Portugal to avoid arrest, former PSD MP and convicted felon Duarte Lima has heard that the murder trial he has been evading for years is about to come to him.
Brazilian prosecutors have long said they have no doubt that Lima was responsible for the death of heiress Rosalina Ribeiro seven years ago. But because there is no extradition treaty between Portugal and Brazil, he has remained ‘untouchable’.
Lima is also appealing a jail sentence for defrauding BPN bank in the so-called Homeland Investigation in which he tried to shift blame onto his own son (click here). Thus there will be few tears over the news that his ‘untouchable’ position appears to be eroding.
A ‘deal’ has been struck between authorities in Brazil and the public ministry in Lisbon whereby Lima will be tried in Portugal, say national papers jornal i and Correio da Manhã.
Brazilian judge Suimei Cavalieri made the announcement, saying the decision had been unanimous.
All the evidence relating to Lima’s alleged crime is now being shipped to counterparts in Portugal.
Cavalieri told journalists that as far as Brazilian prosecutors are concerned, Lima “travelled from Portugal to Brazil and here assassinated Rosalina Ribeiro, attracting her to an ambush in an isolated spot on a highway where he shot her in the head and the chest.
“We see all legal conditions for the transference of this case (to Portugal): the accused is a Portuguese citizen, which invalidates a request for extradition to Brazil, and he is in Portugal which is his place of residence.
Lima’s refusal to attend a trial in Brazil means there is a “risk that he could go unpunished in the event of his conviction”, she added.
Lima has long been playing both justice systems off against the other, very possibly hoping he would be tried ‘in absentia’ in Brazil, and then weather the appeals as a free man in Portugal. This ruse has worked so far, as an original 10-year jail conviction in the Homeland investigation has been reduced now to six – and still he is appealing from the luxury of freedom.
It’s a far cry from other cases, like the latest one in the public eye of a 50-year-old woman serving a three year jail sentence simply for consistently affirming that Portuguese courts are biased in favour of whoever has the most influence (click here).