The folly of hitting the “post” key on Facebook too readily may be weighing heavily on jailed former prime minister José Sócrates’ ex-wife this morning.
Sofia Fava (whose last name translates as “Broad Bean”) hit the headlines yesterday for calling the Attorney General a “fat ugly cretin” (see: https://www.portugalresident.com/s%C3%B3crates%E2%80%99-former-wife-calls-portugal%E2%80%99s-attorney-general-a-%E2%80%9Cfat-ugly-cretin%E2%80%9D), a follower of former dictator António Spinola Salazar and – some might say even worse – “a whore”.
As newspapers were quick to point out, she did retract her postprandial Facebook tirade an hour or so after she made it, but this may not save her the ignominy of a criminal prosecution.
According to speculation in the media today, Fava could be liable for a jail sentence of as much as four-and-a-half months as her insults were made in “a semi-public manner” against a high-ranking official of a “sovereign organ”.
They may also have deeply offended Joana Marques Vidal.
For now, it is a waiting game.
The Attorney General’s office has passed a “no comment” message to newspapers and, as national tabloid Correio da Manhã explains, Fava may have more to worry about than the consequences of her insults. There is every possibility that she too will join the gallery of defendants under suspicion in the Operation Marquês investigation that centres on alleged corruption involving her ex-husband.
But, in the meantime, Fava has at least tried to apologise.
Her comments – made in reaction to Vidal’s defence of magistrates who have made light of Sócrates’ incarceration on social media – were “moved by strong agitation”, she explained.
The “insults and humiliations” heaped upon the father of her children had caused profound distress within “the bosom of her family” and moved her to put phrases relating to the Attorney General on her private page which were strictly subjective.
As an apology, it takes some beating.