Rendeiro death in South African jail: family understood to suspect crime

João Rendeiro’s widow has asked for second autopsy

Maria de Jesus Rendeiro, the widow of former BPP banker João Rendeiro, is understood to be asking for a 2nd autopsy into her husband’s alleged suicide in a South African jail almost two weeks ago.

Attorney general Lucília Gago has already told journalists that “any request for an autopsy in Portugal will be considered by the Public Ministry”.

The story of Mr Rendeiro’s death remains cloaked in mystery – particularly as it is now understood that the results of the autopsy performed on May 17 have still not been communicated to the family/ Mrs Rendeiro.

Mrs Rendeiro’s lawyer Inês Montalvo has told Lusa that her client feels there is a need for a second autopsy “because there are various indications that this could have been a crime”.

The family’s formal request to INMLCF (the national institute of legal medicine and forensic sciences) has still to received any kind of answer, however.

Inês Montalvo went so far as to say that due to no details having come through on the autopsy performed at Pinetown morgue in Durban, the family will be considering any autopsy performed in Portugal to be the first.

“This is a very important question for the family”, she said, explaining there is the “generic suspicion” of murder, with this moment being “the last opportunity that the family has to clarify what actually happened”.

As June Marks, Mr Rendeiro’s South African lawyer, warned on a number of occasions, Westville Jail where the former banker was being held was “very violent”, and João Rendeiro received “death threats on several occasions”..

Ms Marks stressed that “the conditions and manner” in which João Rendeiro’s death occurred “were the least likely” to have been suicide, adds SIC television news, which has reported that Mr Rendeiro’s body is due to arrive in Portugal from South Africa tomorrow.

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com