It has taken over four years but the case into police brutality meted out to six young black men in Cova da Moura (Lisbon) has at last resulted in eight convictions.
Originally, 17 agents were cited over the incident that inspired a BBC documentary entitled ‘They hate black people’ (click here).
This afternoon, eight of the accused were found guilty of various offences, including kidnap and offences to physical integrity. But the judge threw out charges of torture and the crime of racism.
The eight were deemed to have been guilty of falsifying testimonies and lying. All but one have received suspended sentences.
The agent slapped with a jail term – of one year and six months – was condemned because he has ‘committed the same crime” since the Cova de Moura incident, explain reports.
Today’s decision comes after at least 30 court sessions spread over the course of a year, involving as many as 100 people giving testimonies.
The verdict was so keenly awaited that people were standing at the courtroom door, says TVI24
Público adds that all the victims will receive compensation, with one of the convicted agents ordered to pay €50,000.
So far, no news source has reported on the reaction by SOS Racismo, which has been keenly accompanying this investigation.
SOS Racismo’s Mamadou Ba told reporters a year ago that “the Portuguese State has been blind and deaf to the existence of racism in (its) institutions for too long”.