LUÍS MIGUEL FONSECA/LUSA

Jailed bankster: freedom bid signed by psychiatrist cited for rape

João Rendeiro still hoping to be ‘freed’ pending results of extradition hearing

Former BPP ‘bankster’ João Rendeiro is back in the news this week, for reportedly trying to persuade South African justice that he should be freed – pending a decision on extradition – with the help of a report signed by a psychiatrist cited for rape.

José Vasconcelos Vilas Boas was condemned by the Supreme Court in 2012 to pay a former patient €100,000 in damages – albeit he successfully appealed the criminal conviction, and the five year suspended jail sentence initially received for rape.

The Ordem dos Médicos (general medical council) nonetheless (unsuccessfully) sought to expel him from the profession, archiving the case in 2020.

This ‘back story’ may not help Mr Rendeiro, who has been held in Durban’s Westville Jail since being captured while on the run from various jail sentences in this country.

According to national media, the gist of Mr Vilas Boas’ report is that João Rendeiro had rheumatic fever when he was a child (he is now nearly 70 years old) and that such a condition suggests he should be in a ‘safe hygienic’ environment – which Westville Jail most certainly isn’t – in order to avoid heart problems.

Admittedly, Mr Vilas Boas report is not the only document being used to try and ease Mr Rendeiro out of his crowded jail cell (reports in the past have described 50 people all living in the space), but it certainly qualifies for one of the weirdest soundbites of the week.

Judge Rajesh Parshotam certainly does not appear too convinced. As he has remarked, the report is the work of a psychiatrist, not a cardiologist…

For now, Mr Rendeiro remains behind bars, with the extradition hearing due to begin next month (May 20).

CNN stresses the former banker who went on the run last year has been condemned in Portugal in three criminal cases related to the collapse of BPP which saw thousands of clients lose large sums of money and “caused hundred of millions of euros of damages to the State”.

While challenging public prosecutors, it has since been discovered that Mr Rendeiro relieved himself of assets impounded by the State – a situation that has seen his wife embroiled in legal action and the couple’s mansion ‘stripped’ of valuables.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com

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