Porto mayor Rui Moreira has emerged finally from the ‘Selminho case’ hanging over him, with a completely clean slate.
The anonymous ‘tip off’ that alleged he had favoured his family in a property deal to the detriment of the municipality has proved spurious.
Mr Moreira always said it would. But he found himself perilously close to personal disaster when public prosecutors defended that he should lose his mandate last May, due to the Porto Court of Criminal Instruction deciding to take the case to trial.
Mr Moreira refused – saying the whole story was essentially blown out of nothing – and today he has been vindicated.
In reading out the decision, Ângela Reguengo, president of the collective of judges at the Tribunal de São João said it had not been proved that Mr Moreira gave instructions, or acted, to benefit his family’s firm (Selminho). Neither had the ‘illicit facts’ cited by public prosecutors who called for a suspended prison sentence for the mayor, as well as the loss of his mandate (click here).
Mr Moreira has been running Porto municipal council since 2013 as an Independent.
He said after the ruling that he was “not surprised” by the decision.
Asked if he was relieved he answered somewhat obliquely: “I think the people who attended the trial today figured I would come relieved”.
The 65-year-old mayor has scheduled a press conference for 6pm this evening at Porto Town Hall, while the public ministry has announced it will be taking the decision to appeal.