Marco Pontes is sole defendant in case that prompted minister’s resignation
The ‘instructional debate’ (a form of pre-trial hearing) in the case related to the death of motorway maintenance worker Nuno Santos after the BMW car carrying former minister of interior administration Eduardo Cabrita hit him on the A6 highway 18-months ago begins today in Évora.
The sole defendant Marco Pontes has requested the hearing, which as Lusa explains “is an optional phase of the process of evidence gathering that can be requested by defendants to contest the charge”.
This tragic accident in June 2021 has seen bids to indict both Eduardo Cabrita and his former security detail.
Nuno Santos’ family and the Associação of Cidadãos Auto-Mobilizados (association of auto-mobilised citizens) tried to argue that responsibility for the accident did not lie solely with Marco Pontes, who was technically under the orders of his superiors.
Their attempts however failed, leaving Marco Pontes as the only player in this drama to face a courtroom.
The hearing today begins at 2pm in the building of the Alentejo Park of Science and Technology (PACT).
As Lusa explains, this process “is led by a judge, unlike the inquiry phase which is led by the Public Ministry”.
Marco Pontes’ defence lawyer intimated a year ago that she would be requesting this pre-trial hearing, “because of the incongruencies in the case”.