Former interior minister Cabrita under investigation for negligent homicide

Former interior minister Eduardo Cabrita is to be made an official suspect in the Public Ministry investigation into the A6 motorway death of roadworker Nuno Santos.

After all Mr Cabrita’s protestations that he was “just a passenger” in the speeding BMW that hit and killed Mr Santos on June 18 last year , legal arguments that he bore certain undeniable responsibilities have won through.

Evora DIAP (department of investigation and penal action) has reopened the investigation with a view to adding both Mr Cabrita and his security detail Nuno Dias to the list of ‘arguidos’ (official suspects), writes Expresso this morning..

Currently, the only person involved in the accident facing criminal prosecution is government driver Marco Pontes.

Expresso explains that the wording of the dispatch reopening the investigation suggests “the alleged omission conduct” of Mr Cabrita was not “appreciated” before the inquiry was originally closed.

That alleged omissive conduct refers to the fact that, by law, Mr Cabrita held responsibility not only for the speed at which his ministerial car was travelling, but for the fact that it was remaining in the fast lane even though it was not in the process of overtaking (click here).

Both the lawyer for Nuno Santos’ grieving family and motoring association ACA-M have made these points; ACA-M having presented a legal bid for the investigation to be reopened on this basis (click here), which DIAP director José Carlos Franco has now accepted.

The reason for Nuno Dias, Mr Cabrita’s former personal security detail, being added to the list of arguidos may well be to do with the fact that contrary to official requirements, Mr Dias was actually traveling in a separate car at the time of the accident (click here).

This tragic story to a large extent haunted the government for months before Mr Cabrita agreed to resign in order not to damage the Socialist Party in the upcoming elections (click here). His resignation speech however failed to put a lid on the controversy. Some would say it simply perpetuated it.  

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