A number of magistrates in charge of high-profile corruption investigations have been warned that their lives are at risk.
SIS intelligence agents have advised prosecutors attached to DCIAP, the central department of investigation and penal action, to hire bodyguards, writes national tabloid Correio da Manhã.
The most ‘vulnerable’ lawman right now is said to be Rosário Teixeira – the prosecutor juggling with Operation Marquês (the investigation centring on former prime minister José Sócrates), Monte Branco – a massively complex case alleging widespread tax evasion – and Furacão, an even more complicated case said to involve over 700 ‘arguidos’ (suspects).
While Marquês is a relatively new case, Furacão began 10 years ago, the paper explains.
Teixeira’s ally in all these investigations is superjudge Carlos Alexandre who is already watched over by two security guards “day and night”, says CM.
Alexandre has suffered all manner of threats and intimidation over the years, but never been a victim of any personal attack.
Elsewhere other magistrates have had to resort to protection during complicated trials, adds the paper.
Cândida Vilar spent months under the protection of the Personal Defence unit of the PSP after being threatened during the trial of the leader of an extreme right wing movement known as the Hammerskins, while three judges had to be watched over during the trial of a Brazilian Mafia that wreaked terror in nightclubs along the Margem Sul do Tejo in 2011.
More recently, one of the prosecutors working on the case of the missing Braga businessman believed to have been murdered and his body disposed of in a vat of sulphuric acid (click here) also received death threats.
But whether Rosário Teixeira is taking up SIS advice is not fully explained.
CM says Teixeira and all the other magistrates involved have been “informed of the risks, and what measures should be taken”.
A “moderate alert” has also gone out to prosecutors involved in investigations into the missing billions at BES Angola, says the paper.