A Guimarães judge has blasted 11 members of the PSP’s elite intervention squad for a ‘barbarous aggression’ in which a football fan was blinded.
Those responsible “are in this room, I have no doubt”, he told them. “I just don’t know who they were, or if they were all of you”.
“Everyone knows that you know who did this”, the judge added, but then proceeded to acquit all 11 as he himself couldn’t be sure who was guilty and who was innocent.
The lawyer of the victim has confirmed they will now be pressing forwards with an appeal.
“The judge said in as many words that these men were the aggressors. We cannot accept an acquittal, particularly when the injuries were so serious”, said Andreia Miranda Silva.
The court heard how victim João Pedro Adrião not only lost one of his eyes in the attack, he lost a wedding – planned to take place a week after the attack but which has never gone ahead – and his career.
Adrião trained to be a lawyer. Since the incident – which took place back in 2014 before a League game between Boavista and Vitória de Guimarães – he hasn’t practised.
The unnamed judge in absolving Adrião’s attackers said the incident caused ‘real heartache’, particularly because it came from agents of the Law that should be in place to protect people, not cause them harm.
The reason no-one seems to have been able to identify the agents who carried out the attack is that they were all wearing crash-helmets and visors.
Say reports, the facts go back five years to October 2014 when busloads of fans were arriving in Guimarães for the big game.
One of the police asked Adrião to move to a certain place, and when he didn’t, the agent “knocked him to the ground, pinning him down with a knee to his back, while two other defendants kicked, punched and hit him with batons”.
The ‘elite force’ then surrounded Adrião in a circle so that no-one could come to his aid.
Among the 11 acquitted by the court was Paulo Rodrigues, president of the ASPP syndicate of police professionals.