Truck rampage in Lagos

A 21-year-old Portuguese man was remanded in custody following a truck rampage in Lagos on January 17, which left one woman dead and seven other people injured.

The truck was pursued by police and the incident was only brought to an end by the actions of a brave man on the scene, who seeing the 20-tonne vehicle approaching, jumped onto the side of the moving cab and grabbed the wheel.

The victim was a 46-year old bank clerk who was run over when she was crossing the road.

The man has been charged with murder, attempted murder, theft, disobedience and seven counts of dangerous driving. A trial date has not yet been set.

British resident embroiled in national investigation

A long-term Algarve resident embroiled in an alleged corruption investigation involving the Freeport shopping outlet near Lisbon told the Algarve Resident in January that he and his family were “just trying to get on with our life as normal”.

The case concerns the planning permission, granted in record time, for the retail outlet at Alcochete on the south banks of the River Tejo, on the boundaries of European Union protected estuary wetlands – home to many rare and endangered migrating bird species.

It is claimed that former Freeport directors arranged envelopes of cash to pay bribes to nature conservation agency chiefs, local government bigwigs and, it has been alleged, the Prime Minister José Sócrates when he was Minister for the Environment, during the António Guterres government, which collapsed days after planning permission was granted in 2002.

Charles Smith, who has been a resident in Portugal for more than 20 years, is a former partner in the consultancy company Smith & Pedro, which was employed by Freeport Plc to obtain the necessary licences and planning permission for the outlet shopping centre at Alcochete, south of Lisbon.

Lewis tests track

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton was in the Algarve on January 21, putting the new McLaren-Mercedes MP4-25 through its paces at the Algarve Motor Park track near Portimão.

The British driver made his appearance with fellow team driver Heikki Kovalainen during a week of testing at the circuit.

This was the first time that Formula One racing had been in Portugal in an official capacity since Estoril lost its Grand Prix status.