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Former Justice minister reveals threats, persecution, laser beams and a dead mouse dogged her controversial tenure

Well-known for her polemic ‘redrawing of the judicial map’ that saw upwards of three million court cases jettisoned into cyberspace for months, former justice minister Paula Teixeira da Cruz has been talking to Sábado about her three-year tenure, claiming she was stalked, attacked in her sleep, targeted by lasers (at a dinner party) and sent a dead mouse in an envelope.

But if her attackers thought any of this was going to rattle her, they were wrong.

“Frightened I was not,” she told the paper. A little startled, perhaps, but certainly not frightened.

Problems began in 2012 when the backbench PSD MP who has now returned to her private practice as a lawyer was giving a dinner party for friends in her home.

She suddenly realised someone was shining the red beam of a laser right at her head.

“I cannot say I was not surprised, the first time,” she told Sábado.

In the same year, her daughter found what she thought were bullet marks in her front door.

And then there was the incident where she came home to find all the doors, lights and windows on; the television too – and no one seems to have noticed anyone coming or going.

One of the worst incidents appears to have been the time she woke up “confused” after falling asleep on her own sofa.

Her sister found her, Teixeira da Cruz told Sábador, with cuts to both her arms. All she can vaguely remember is “a shape”.

A similar ‘fright’ happened a year later, adds Diário de Notícias, when friends found her collapsed in her apartment and detected a “strange smell in the room, but couldn’t quite place it”.

Moving swiftly on, the interview goes on to discuss relations with parliamentary colleagues who are now the subject of police and public ministry investigations, and the difficulties she faced over having German blood.

But for the squeamish, the most morbid revelation is that an envelope containing a dead mouse passed through Lisbon parliament’s rigorous mail-screening and landed in the justice minister’s inbox.

She opened it, but has not elaborated on what happened next.

Suffice it to say that since stepping down “one or two things have happened, but it all ended up disappearing” and we are led to believe that Paula Teixeira da Cruz’s life is now much calmer.

“The PSP suggested more security” during the thick of her troubles, she told Sábado. But she would have done of it.

With clear conviction she justified: “I think these things when they happen happen”.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com