The trials and tribulations of former interior minister Eduardo Cabrita since his ministerial car hit and killed a worker on the A6 motorway have deepened this week.
The Associação de Cidadãos Auto-Mobilizados (association of auto-mobilised citizens) wants to see him made equally responsible for the crime of negligent homicide.
Right now, the only person facing criminal charges over this tragic incident is Mr Cabrita’s former driver, Marco Pontes (click here).
But the association – which has been made an ‘assistant in the legal process’ surrounding this case – argues that Mr Cabrita is just as guilty, by omission.
Lawyer Paulo Graça explains that as the ‘hierarchical superior of Marco Pontes’, Mr Cabrita had the “legal power to give him orders and instructions and demand obedience”.
Talking to Lusa, Mr Graça added that Eduardo Cabrita had a “legal duty” to give his driver orders – particularly when it came to the speed at which Pontes was driving – in the left hand lane (which should only be used for overtaking).
By neglecting to give those orders, by being complicit in Marco Pontes’ manner of driving (which “created an increased risk to the life and physical integrity of the workers on the A6” at the time), Mr Cabrita violated his duty – and this violation constitutes ‘illicit omission’, Mr Graça argued.
At least, that is the line pursued by the association. It has also been a line promoted by the family of the worker killed in the incident, father-of-two Nuno Santos.
It remains to be seen whether the bid is actually accepted by the Public Ministry.