Image from RTP report on Mr Homeniuk's arrest and subsequent death

“State could end up bankrupt if it continues to pay-out large amounts in compensation” … for perfectly avoidable deaths

The Portuguese State could end up ‘bankrupt’ if it continues to pay-out large amounts in compensation for perfectly avoidable deaths.

This is the gist of one of the more surreal arguments given by prosecutors defending the Public Ministry yesterday.

The context is the appeal by three SEF inspectors found guilty of causing the appalling death of Ukrainian job-seeker and father of two Ihor Homeniuk (click here).

The case was perhaps the worst example of institutional failing in Portugal for many years.

After inexcusable delays (click here) in responding to what happened, the country eventually paid out over €800,000 in compensation to the dead man’s family (click here).

But now, it appears, three of the men handed jail sentences over the affair, may see their penalties reduced.

Says SIC, the three SEF (borders agency) inspectors accused of the death of Ihor Homeniuk could see the qualification of the crime relieved.”

Thus yesterday’s court session, marked as the station admits by a number of controversial comments.

Citing Diário de Notícias, SIC explains the panel of judges hearing the appeal against sentences ranging from seven to nine years “admits to altering the qualification of the accusation to ‘serious offences to physical integrity, aggravated by the result” (which in this case was a slow and agonising death…)

Meantime the lawyer representing Mr Homeniuk’s family maintains there were many more people complicit in this tragedy, and it would be useful to identify each and every one of them.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com