Albeit to be declared “contumacious”
Portuguese Justice has finally thrown in the sponge on attempts to extradite former Benfica boss Vale e Azevedo from the UK.
According to reports, the condemned fraudster still has 10 years to serve in a Portuguese jail, but the Public Ministry has accepted ‘it’ll never happen’.
Instead “Portuguese Justice has asked that Vale e Azevedo be declared contumacious”, say reports.
For those of us who don’t know this term it means “wilfully disobedient to authority” – a badge Mr Vale e Azevedo may already be wearing with pride.
What it means with regard to returning to Portugal is that he would be prohibited from obtaining documents, celebrating business or potentially owning assets.
Is this an end to the long-running threat of Portuguese Justice that has been hanging over Mr Vale e Azevedo for more than two decades? SIC believes that it may well be.
“The decision does not have great immediate consequences for Vale e Azevedo who has lived in the United Kingdom for a long time, without any assets in Portugal being known”, the station concedes, adding “the former president of Benfica will not have any plans to return, as there is another warrant for his arrest still active that would send him to prison the moment he touched down on national territory”.
As to the difficulties in trying to get Mr Vale e Azevedo home to face the music, SIC seems to suggest these were exacerbated by Brexit.
“After six years trying to arrest the former President of Benfica, the Public Ministry understands that it is inglorious to hope that the United Kingdom will deliver him again, particularly after juridical changes provoked by Brexit”.
SIC adds however that, “Portuguese courts are still trying to detain Vale e Azevedo so that he can stand trial in another case involving an attempt to defraud BCP”…