Reports over-egged the threat posed by Marco A
He was/ is a former employee of the Social Services department ordered in 2019 by a judge to be confined to the psychiatric unit of Caxias prison hospital for “a maximum of 10 years”.
In other words, he should not really have been ‘free’ to send his bizarre threat to the country’s head of State on October 26 last year.
After a flurry of soundbites earlier this week – considering PJ police had run a dangerous criminal to ground who had sent similar death threats to other Portuguese personalities – it turns out this is a man who was receiving regular psych consults, and the support of prison services, as a result of having been released early because doctors considered he was “getting better, and that the probability of him repeating his threats was low”.
Perhaps the difference in his MO this time, was that the 40-year-old man, described only as Marco A, sent a bullet in his mail to the presidential palace, along with a telephone contact and details of a bank account, in which to deposit €1 million to avoid the president’s death by shooting.
As Expresso points out, “investigators realised the telephone number and the bank account number were not false, or invented, and in fact belonged to a third party. It was not discounted that this person could be related to Marco A”.
Thus, this week’s revelations, pose the question “why did it take the best part of three months to solve this mystery?”
There are the added questions as to why a mentally ill person who used to work for Social Services should be described as a “former military officer” with a “vast criminal history”.
Observador answers this question, explaining that Marco A was in the military until the age of 27, when he left that life behind him to work first for the general inspectorate of health, and then for Social Security.
As it is, Marco A is now back where he was in 2019: in the psychiatric unit of Caxias prison hospital.
Expresso describes his illness as “a psychotic perturbation”, explaining that he was deemed unimputable in 2019 (not fit to be charged with a criminal offence).
Marco A is now undergoing further exams to “ascertain his mental health”. But this closing chapter goes a long way towards explaining why, when he heard about the letter and the death threat, President Marcelo appeared unruffled, commenting that he had received similar threats in the past, and they had never materialised.