Attorney general lists charges in Portugal's paedophilia probe

Date: 2003-12-29

RTP Internacional TV, Lisbon

[Presenter] One month before the deadline for the filing of charges, set to expire on 31 January, the Public Prosecutor's Office today formally indicted 10 suspects on several charges, including the sexual abuse of minors and teenagers and the facilitation of prostitution.

[Reporter] Today, nearly thirteen months since allegations first surfaced, the Public Prosecutor's Office finally filed formal charges against ten defendants. No charges were filed against the three remaining suspects in the alleged paedophilia ring at Casa Pia [Lisbon's main state-run home for vulnerable children]. The team of investigators led by Public Prosecutor Joao Guerra had until the end of January to press charges.

[Attorney General Jose de SOUTO MOURA, RTPINT, 20:01:27] Following the outstanding work conducted by this team, who started only then [reference to unpublished remark, supposedly to the moment when allegations were first reported to the authorities], resulted in an investigation, the evidence of which has now been recorded on 13,000 pages, published in 60 volumes, in connection with the main investigation alone, in addition to a set of 136 annexes. Overall, more than 600 people have been examined. [20:01:57]

[Presenter] Following what has been described as an extremely laborious process, the investigators described the charges in a 300-page document:

[SOUTO MOURA, 20:02:08] Charges have been filed against 10 defendants. They include: the procuring for the purposes of promoting, exploiting and facilitating the prostitution of minors; the sexual abuse of minors; the sexual abuse of persons in care; rape; homosexual acts with teenagers; and also the possession of illegal arms and embezzlement. [20:02:40]

[Presenter] Carlos Cruz [TV presenter, whose career spans for more than 30 years], detained since 1 February has been charged with ten counts, nine of sexual abuse of minors, one of an homosexual act with a teenager. Former ambassador [to South Africa] Jorge Ritto, in custody for more than seven months, has been indicted on 23 counts of sexual abuse of minors and two counts of procuring for the purposes of prostitution. Ferreira Diniz [a doctor who reportedly carried out medical tests on the children before they were sexually abused] has been charged with more than 40 counts. Manuel Abrantes, a former deputy governor at Casa Pia has been charged with 94 counts, nine of sexual abuse of minors, 82 of sexual abuse of persons in care, two of procuring for the purposes of prostitution and one count of embezzlement. Carlos Silvino [also known as Bibi], a former worker [driver] at Casa Pia, has been charged with more than 1,000 counts. [Passage omitted] The prosecutors, who want Hugo Marcal [lawyer who briefly represented Carlos Silvino before becoming a suspect as well] and [former employment minister and Socialist MP] Paulo Pedroso to return to custody [after having been recently released on probation], have indicted the former with 60 counts and the politician with 23 counts of sexual abuse of minors.

[TV presenter and humorist] Herman Jose has also been charged with one count of homosexual acts with one teenager, and Archaeologist Francisco Alves, and Gertrudes Nunes, a [61-year old] woman who owns a house in Elvas [south interior Portugal] where some of the alleged crimes of sexual abuse are said to have been committed, have also had charges brought against them.

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