Principal suspect in murder of Portimão teen finally made “arguido”

The principal suspect in the brutal murder of Portimão schoolboy Rodrigo Lapa 19 months ago has finally seen his status made “official”.

Joaquim Lara Pinto, now 43, was made an arguido when he presented himself to Federal Police in Brazil earlier this week on the back of an arrest warrant served by Interpol (click here).

Despite the news that he claims to remember nothing of the events leading up to Rodrigo’s horrific death, he is now facing the full force of the PJ case compiled against him.

If this leads to him being charged – which has become the life’s mission of Rodrigo’s father Sérgio, backed by campaigning lawyer Pedro Proença – the case will be heard in Brazil, where coincidentally the maximum prison term for murder is 30 years, five years more than he could be sentenced to in Portugal.

It is not ideal, Proença has told journalists – but given the lack of relevant extradition agreements between Brazil and Portugal, it is the best option, and would be the culmination of months of ‘pushing behind the scenes’ to ensure this tragedy is not swept under the carpet due to geographical and legal ‘difficulties’.

At times, Rodrigo’s friends have been in despair over the time it has taken to approach any acceptable form of closure click here.

Today his heartbroken father Sérgio, who battles with depression and other demons, says he is “satisfied”.

There is a long way still to go – but Rodrigo’s terrible end looks finally as though blame may be apportioned.

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