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Lisbon’s airport stormers face up to eight years jail

Almost 72-hours since four North Africans brought Lisbon airport to a standstill after they burst onto the runway in what has been seen as a “desperate attempt at illegal immigration”, there is still no decision about what should happen to them.

The men – aged between 20 to 25 – have been at Lisbon’s Campus da Justiça court complex since early on Monday morning.

But as we are in the August judicial recess, there are simply not enough judges available to hear cases promptly.

Thus yesterday’s appearance and summary audience was deferred to today (Tuesday), and by lunchtime still nothing had been decided.

According to RTP lunchtime news, it looks likely that the men may be heard on the issue of their “illegal situation” in Portugal later this afternoon.

The other crimes of ‘invading prohibited areas, not open to the public and putting air transport safety at risk’ have not been given a date, although journalists at Campus da Justiça suggest the hearings could still go ahead today.

According to RTP news on Monday, the three crimes facing the men carry a maximum jail sentence of eight years.

As we revealed yesterday, two of the men had previously been refused entry into France, and one was refused entry into Spain (click here).

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com