Eduardo Cabrita has been having another challenging few days

Family of road worker killed by ministerial car to demand over €1 million in compensation

The shameful story of a family ‘left hanging’ after their loved-one was run over and killed by a ministerial car on the A6 motorway over two months ago has taken a new turn.

Lawyer José Joaquim Barros explains “there has to be reasonable compensation” – particularly in the apparent dearth of humane and timely response (click here).

According to an interview by Visão magazine, Mr Barros will be gunning for “more than €1 million” to be paid to the dead man’s wife and children.

The lawyer’s ‘target’ is the minister travelling in the car. 

As he explained, Eduardo Cabrita – minister for interior administration – may not physically have been driving, but in his opinion, the minister was to blame for what happened.

“In terms of responsibility of risk, the law doesn’t make the driver exactly responsible”, he told Visão.

Who is responsible is the person who has “effective control of the vehicle. Which in this case means the head of that group, in other words, Eduardo Cabrita…”

Mr Cabrita has already been publicly hauled over the coals over this incident – particularly has he ‘promised’ that the dead man’s widow would receive help from Social Security (click here) – something that till this day appears not to have happened.

Stories also have surfaced of the woman being approached by police investigating the accident, asking questions about her husband’s ‘recent behaviour’ (as if somehow he may have been negligent to the point of precipitating the tragedy) – while Mr Cabrita’s repeated refusal to reveal the speed the BMW 7 series vehicle was travelling at has created the impression of serial obfuscation.

José Joaquim Barros is already trying to lift the ‘secrecy of Justice’ rule that has been impeding clarification on a number of salient issues.

Again, in his professional opinion, there is no “legally correct reason” for keeping the inquiry under Portugal’s strict ‘secrecy of Justice’ rule (meaning details are kept secret, or as near to secret as possible).

“What could upset the investigation of a traffic accident?” He quizzed. 

Beyond witness statements, there will be ‘other necessary things’ within the inquiry (which the family has a right to know about), “principally the autopsy report and the report on the state of the vehicle” (its condition could go a long way, for example, towards establishing the speed the car will have been travelling at when it hit 43-year-old Nuno Santos shortly after 1pm on June 18 ).

Visão adds that “two and a  half months since the accident, the GNR has explained that the investigation remains “in course”, even though it is “not possible to give additional statements”. The agents nonetheless assure that all the steps inherent to a process of investigation of a road accident involving fatalities are being developed”.

All in all, it has been another fairly disastrous week for Mr Cabrita, who was recently described by SIC political commentator Luís Marques Mendes as a “large political abscess” (click here).

His dealings with police over their long-fought-for ‘risk subsidy’ has run into new disasters with associations and syndicates vowing to formulate a judicial complaint against the government.

The reason is that in spite of negotiations still being ‘underway’, the Council of Ministers went ahead last Thursday and approved a diploma (new law) which every police force rejects (click here).

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com