Wot, no horses?

Neo nazi mission to Ukraine

Public prosecutors appeal judge’s green-light to Mário Machado

In yet another strange example of shutting the door long after the horse has bolted, Portuguese public prosecutors have announced that they will be appealing the judicial decision which freed neonazi Mário Machado from bail conditions so that he could lead a ‘humanitarian mission’ to Ukraine.

It is difficult to understand what this appeal hopes to achieve: Machado set off yesterday, and will have crossed several borders by now.

This institutional compulsion to slam doors shut when there is no-one left in the room (or stable) is becoming more and more apparent.

Last week we heard of the only Portuguese bank account associated with the EU’s sanctions against Russia being frozen, with the princely sum in it of €242. (No mention was made of any recent withdrawals, nor when they were effected. The bank where the account was held wasn’t even mentioned, let alone the name of the account holder).

And then there was the bizarre decision recently to rein-in “any possible abuse of the nationality law” pertaining to Sephardic Jews long after it had almost certainly been abused to the hilt… The most remarkable aspect of this bit of door slamming is that anyone and everyone who benefitted from the law unjustly appears to have ‘gotten away with it’.

This ‘judicial appeal’ again seems bizarrely-timed.

Mário Machado announced he would be leaving Portugal for what he called “Operation Ukraine 1143” at the beginning of March.

If the Public Ministry was really so keen that he shouldn’t go, why didn’t they make their move then?

As it is, the ‘eight’ fellow nationalists with which Machado said he would be travelling have since morphed into 20, among them Portuguese and Brazilians, according to Público.

Machado, who was meant to be reporting to police bi-monthly – but managed to convince a judge that his efforts in Ukraine should take precedence – has a long criminal history. He has been linked with “various extreme right groups, like the Movement for National Action, the Ariana Brotherhood and Portugal Hammerskins”, explains SIC (the Hammerskins being one of the “principal neonazi and white supremacist groups of the United States of America”). He has been jailed on numerous occasions, and his CV includes being the founder of the Portuguese ‘national front’ (Frente Nacional), and another, later outlawed movement, by the name of “Nova Ordem Social” (New Social Order).

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com