Former Tavira/Faro mayor sentenced to four-and-a-half years, suspended

After years in which he stressed that he never did anything illegal, former Tavira and Faro mayor Macário Correia has been found guilty of four crimes of ‘prevarication’ (misuse of political office) and sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison, suspended for the same period.

Still vowing that he has been wronged – much as he did in 2012 when the Supreme Court of Justice ordered him to stand down as Mayor of Faro – Correia told journalists after the court’s decision that he would be appealing.

“Justice has some strange ways of working,” he said – stressing that the arguments and documents he presented in his defence “were not taken into account”.

The case goes back so many years that most people have forgotten what it was about. It centred on Correia authorising architectural projects for three houses and two swimming pools in rural Tavira “in clear violation of the REN (national ecological reserve) regime”, between the years of 2005-2009.

How it has managed to take so long for the case to be decided is just another example of the sloth of Portuguese justice, particularly evident when politicians or public figures are involved.

Suffice it to say, this may not be the end of it – though the court’s ruling that the former mayor “decided to go against the law” and that “these constructions violated the PDM (municipal plan) and PROTA (the Algarve territorial plan), as well as REN” may continue to carry weight.

As it is, Correia was absolved of one of the crimes levelled against him – misuse of public office in the licensing of one of the swimming pools.

Questioned over his political future, the former twice-time mayor said he does not have any intention to involve himself in party-political struggles “on the close horizon”.

[email protected]