ruben cavaco.jpg

Iraqi twins suspected of violent beating of Portuguese teenager go AWOL

The 17-year-old twins of Iraq’s ambassador to Portugal who are suspected of having beaten a 15-year-old Portuguese boy so badly he had to be put into a medically induced coma have reportedly fled the country (click here).

The Portuguese authorities do not know where the twins are, writes national tabloid Correio da Manhã, and all that is being reported is that they apparently fled the country by car, driving to Madrid to make their way back to Iraq.

Huge controversy now surrounds the fact that the young men could not be kept in custody after being detained by police as they are protected under the rules of diplomatic immunity.

As CM says: “Even though they were identified by GNR police and handed over to Polícia Judiciária (PJ), investigators had to free them as soon as they found out that they were the sons of a diplomat, and thus enjoy immunity.”

The news inflamed national media and is causing a wave of protests, particularly in the Alentejo town of Ponte de Sor where the incident took place, as under the current legislation little to nothing can be done to charge the twins for their alleged crimes, unless Portuguese courts are able to lift their immunity from prosecution.

It seems the most that can happen now, according to CM, is for the ambassador and his family to be considered ‘personae non gratae’ in Portugal and prohibited from entering the country.

PJ police’s priority now is to “gather proof and end the investigation” so that it can be handed to Portugal’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, which will face the “though task of asking Iraq if it accepts lifting the twins’ immunity”.

The twins had apparently been in Portugal since July 2015. One of them had been training to become a pilot at the G Air Training Centre in Ponte de Sor. The centre has since posted on its Facebook page that “according to the school’s code of conduct, the process of pupil expulsion has been opened” as it “repudiates totally what happened” and is “standing by the family of the boy who has been injured”.

Meantime, 15-year-old Rubén Cavaco remains in a medically-induced coma with “no signs of improvements”.

He was apparently ambushed by the twins after a disagreement at a local bar in Ponte de Sor. One of them is understood to have run into the boy with the embassy Mercedes while the other is believed to have jumped out of the car and launched into a vicious bout of punching and kicking.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com

Photo: Rúben Cavaco remains in a coma and shows no signs of improvement