While UK celebrities caught out by historic sex offences have accepted the removal of any honours they may have received from the Queen without so much as a murmur, here in Portugal convicted paedophile Carlos Cruz is kicking up a stink from the confines of his jail cell in Carregueira prison, Sintra.
He claims the stripping of his decoration as a Grand Official of the Order of Infante D. Henrique is unconstitutional and he is demanding €20,000 in damages.
National news media reported in January that Cruz and fellow inmate, former UNESCO ambassador Jorge Ritto had finally seen their honours stripped as a result of convictions in the Casa Pia sex abuse scandal. Both are still in jail – Cruz maintaining his innocence after a case that dragged on for years and saw more than 800 people give evidence.
From his cell in the same prison that sees former Benfica boss Vale e Azevedo unsuccessfully appealing for early release, Cruz has let it be known that he is “hurt” by the removal of his decoration and considers it a “gratuitous offence”.
His defence lawyer is thus demanding the restoration of Cruz’s honour.
In a statement, the lawyer contends that by removing the Order of Infante D. Henrique, the “State has contributed to the stigma and revolt” surrounding his client, “feeding antisocial, anti-juridical behaviour” towards him that it should instead have prevented.
Cruz was convicted in 2010 for seven years for his part in the long-running sexual abuse of boys who were meant at the time to be in the care of Casa Pia children’s home.
By NATASHA DONN [email protected]
Photo by: TIAGO PETINGA/LUSA
Photo: Former TV presenter Carlos Cruz outside the Campus de Justiça in Lisbon on January 3 2013