Tourism boss in court over crimes of prevarication and falsification of documents

Algarve tourism boss Desidério Silva was in Portimão court yesterday (Thursday) answering allegations that he was involved in the crimes of prevarication and falsification of documents almost 15 years ago while he held the position of deputy-mayor of Albufeira.

The man who went on to become mayor of Albufeira, and then leave his job with what opposition socialists called a municipality mired in “financial and organisational chaos”, told news reporters outside the courtroom that his conscience was clear.

“I did not commit any crime,” he said.

The case centres on the elevation of a house built on Urb. Vale Pedras 14 years ago.

The plaintiffs argue that council technicians, including Silva, allowed a much higher elevation than set out on the original plans, so that their own house next door was dogged with infiltration problems and other expensive issues.

“Our house was put into the shade and lost its value,” they complained.

The couple are demanding compensation in the order of €700,000, alleging that the council effectively favoured their neighbours and altered documentation accordingly.

But Silva told reporters: “I did not favour the owner of the property. I did not even know him. I did not even know the builder.”

The plaintiffs further contend that they themselves were hounded by council officials because of their stance over the legality of the building next door.

The court heard that they were served with a number of fines for having started their own building before having the necessary licence.

The case continues.

By NATASHA DONN [email protected]