Judge Ivo Rosa. Image: Mário Cruz/ Lusa

Judge accused of trying to “destroy emails to protect former minister”

Judge Ivo Rosa and former interior minister Eduardo Cabrita back in media soup

Two men who have independently been in and out of the nation’s headlines for the worst kind of reasons are back in the media soup today – possibly for the first time so intimately connected.

Judge Rosa, better known as the nemesis of super-judge Carlos Alexandre, and the man who regularly obliterates years of Public Ministry investigation, is accused of trying to destroy emails that made up evidence in the ‘flame retardant snood’ scandal – a scandal so redolent of dirty dealing it seems to come from a dark low-budget comedy (remember, these are the so called flame retardant ‘accessories’ given away to communities in the Safe Village-Safe People fire awareness campaign of 2019… which cost a lot of money, gave certain companies very good business – and threatened to dissolve with an unpleasant odour of glue if they came in contact with any kind of flame).

The scandal has only just seen formal accusations made – with Eduardo Cabrita not implicated as an ‘arguido’ (official suspect).

But his former secretary of State José Artur Neves has not been so fortunate – nor the former president of Civil Protection Mourato Nunes.

It was email correspondence between all three that Judge Rosa sought to destroy, says SIC.

The mails had been “apprehended” by investigators, but as far as the judge was concerned, they had not been apprehended legally, as the trio had no idea they were being investigated

According to SIC, the judge’s actions included tipping off Cabrita and Neves at a point when the case was under ‘Secrecy of Justice’ (specifically because none of those under suspicion were meant to have known they were being investigated…)

Says the media outlet: an inquiry is now underway against Judge Rosa for “violation of Secrecy of Justice”.

As things turned out, Judge Rosa didn’t get his way. His order for the mails to be destroyed was overruled by Judge Alexandre, just as Judge Rosa took up the BES case ‘in exclusivity’, where he has continued to argue points of law in favour of those under investigation.

SIC concludes its report today, recalling this is the second official inquiry into Judge Rosa’s handling of a case: the first is already with the Superior Council of Magistrature and centers on the judge allegedly “interferring and annulling decisions of other magistrates”.

Reports have stressed the council may end up deciding to suspend Judge Rosa from his fuctions for a certain period of time – a move, if taken, that would be considered “a serious sanction”.

In the past, Judge Rosa has even been called out for trying to block the wire-tapping of Iraqi brothers linked to DAESH.

In the past also, Eduardo Cabrita has received widespread media criticism for all kinds of unfortunate incidents.

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com