Duarte Lima, accomplished Houdini of Portuguese justice, now faces trial for abuse of confidence. Already appealing a six-year sentence for fraud – and wanted by Interpol for murder – Lima’s defence that €5.2 million paid into his account was for services rendered has not convinced Lisbon’s court of criminal instruction.
The money came from the woman Lima is alleged to have murdered, and was deposited for safekeeping alleges the Public Ministry.
National tabloid Correio da Manhã reports that the court of criminal instruction decided on October 10 that Lima’s defence was “clear fantasy, destined to hide the undue appropriation” of funds transferred by Rosalina Rodrigues in 2001.
The decision has thus paved the way for a new trial which carries a maximum prison sentence of eight years.
Needless to say, little seems to be moving forwards on the much larger issue of the murder of Rosalina Ribeiro, purportedly by Lima eight years later.
Brazilian judge Ricardo Pinheiro Machado has long maintained that he “has no doubt” that Lima murdered Ribeiro – over the same €5.2 million – but as Brazil and Portugal do not have any agreement over extradition, the case has remained stymied.