He has been spectacularly accomplished at dodging the consequences of his actions this far, but time looks like being up for former PSD MP Duarte Lima, condemned to 10 years in jail 15 months ago, but still footloose, if not fancy free, since he lodged an appeal.
Friday, April 1 saw Lisbon judges reduce his sentence by four years at the same time as a request to financial institutions for ‘time to pay’ his €31.6 million in debts fell flat. Thus Lima is both almost certainly bankrupt as well as on his way finally to a jail cell.
He may even be tried on the murder charge that is outstanding against him in Brazil (click here). Only time will tell.
Both Público and national tabloid Correio da Manhã map Lima’s latest debacles explaining that the sentence reduction is actually bittersweet.
Due to the fact that his jail term for fraud – as part of the Homeland investigation – is now only six years, he has lost the chance of further appeal to the Supreme Tribunal (which only hears cases where jail sentences exceed seven years).
The only way out (or way to stay out of jail, at least) is for Lima to appeal to the Constitutional Court or somehow lobby to get the 900-page Lisbon ruling annulled, explains Público.
But as no one has had time to study the latter – and no one has a clear understanding of whether the former is really an option – things are looking distinctly tight for the former VIP.
CM explains that Lima had hoped ‘time to pay’ his exorbitant debts would allow him to offload “a valuable selection of Chinese porcelain”.
The fact that his request has been vetoed by creditors Novo Banco and Parvalorem (the government vehicle administering debts of the failed BPN bank which the Homeland Fund swindled) means Lima’s assets, including the Chinese porcelain, will now be “integrated within the insolvent mass destined to pay creditors”.
For more details on Duarte Lima’s checkered past (click here)