Judge in the dock over missing €7500 from Red Cross

On the day a UN report has slammed Portugal’s judiciary for being “prejudiced”, the case of a multi-tasking judge accused of embezzlement is being heard by Porto’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice.

The case against associated appeal court judge Joana Salinas goes back three years, and involves allegations that she used funds from the Matosinhos delegation of the Red Cross – of which she was also president – to fund legal work that she did not have time for.

According to noticiasaominuto, a website that watches the nation’s media, Salinas hired two lawyers to “make up for a backlog in the elaboration of judgments”.

She is also accused to having made use of a trainee lawyer.

All the legal brains involved were paid regularly with Red Cross Funds, say prosecutors.

It is a case that Salinas hotly refutes, having denounced the allegations to Correio da Manhã in October 2013 as a “very serious slur” and “madness”.

The nation’s press has all alluded in some way or other to allegations facing Salinas.

Público mentioned her backlog of cases earlier this year, some of them going back six months to a year, said the paper.

While Jornal de Notícias has written of her decision to run for Matosinhos council (PS) and give up her job as a magistrate. The flirtation with politics was not successful however, so she opted to return to law.

CM even claims Salinas’ name came up in wire taps between during the “Apito Dourado” case into football corruption. The conversation at the time involved a “favour” to be asked to deputy PM Paulo Portas, then minister of defence.

CM wrote that after investigating the case, the public ministry decided to archive it.

Not so today’s case however, which is receiving widespread mention across the media.

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