‘Friendly chat’ has fatal end

IT HAS been alleged that a “friendly conversation” about football between a Polícia de Segurança Pública (PSP) agent, guarding the British Embassy’s front door in Lisbon’s Rua São Bernardo, and a Securitas security guard ended when the former’s 9mm single shot machine pistol “accidentally went off” last Friday.

The security guard was hit in the abdomen, blown several feet backwards, collapsing on the pavement near the embassy’s main entrance. An ambulance

rushed to the scene, but, despite several attempts to save the man’s life, he was pronounced dead on arrival at Lisbon’s São José Hospital from massive loss of blood.

Last Monday, a British Embassy spokesperson informed that the fatality had been caused by an “accidental discharge” when the police guard’s weapon went off. But both the police and the British Embassy are conducting enquiries into the tragic accident to determine its causes.

The embassy spokesperson told us that British Ambassador, John Buck, immediately went to the hospital and spoke to the family of the dead security guard. Neither the agent’s name nor the name of the security guard have been released by police or embassy officials.

The spokesperson continued: “For security reasons, we cannot release exact details, neither does the family wish for names to be divulged. There were some witnesses to the accident and an ambulance was called immediately. We have various internal procedures that we carry out to cover such circumstances, although, to our knowledge, nothing has ever happened like this before.”

The PSP agent was taken to the Tribunal de Instrução Criminal.

By Chris Graeme