Public Ministry pushes for jail sentences over Pedrógão Grande house reconstruction scandal

The long, drawn out trial of former mayor of Pedrógão Grande Valdemar Alves, his former deputy Bruno Gomes and a number of others over fraud and prevarication practised in the reconstruction of homes burnt in the killer fires of 2017 has finally come to a close, with prosecutor Catarina Lopes saying that all crimes imputed have been proved. The case centres on council leaders “acting in a communion of forces and desires” with “the intention of getting illegitimate benefits for (other) official suspects” who were either friends or family, leaving behind other people who genuinely had lost homes in the devastating inferno. “This is what shocks most in the situation”, said Ms Lopes: that people who really qualified for help did not get it. The Public Ministry is demanding that Mr Alves and Mr Gomes pay for their perceived crimes with custodial sentences. It is unclear when sentencing will be pronounced. For more on this case click here