I never followed the Joana Cipriano case, well to be honest, nobody had even heard of this poor little girl until Madeleine’s disappearance. So to be truthful, I can’t say whether Leonor Cipriano is guilty of harming her daughter or not.
Whether Leonor is guilty or whether she isn’t, she still has the right not to be tortured.
We know the Courts in Portugal agreed she was tortured but by whose hand they don’t know. And we know that in the hearing at Court with regards to her torture, Goncalo Amaral was found guilty of perjury and falsifying documents and another officer was found guilty of falsifying evidence, as reported by the London Evening Standard on the 29th May 2009.
On Friday, three PJ officers were cleared of torture, but Amaral was convicted of falsifying documents and another officer, Nunes Cardoso, was convicted of falsifying evidence at the court in Faro, the Correio da manha newspaper reported.
The Daily Mirror reports:
Portugal’s attorney general later said there was no evidence to link the couple to Madeleine’s disappearance. Amaral was sacked from the case in October 2007 and later retired. He stood trial in relation to the investigation into the disappearance of Joana Cipriano, eight, in September 2004.
After a seven-month trial at Faro a jury found Amaral guilty of falsifying documents.
Outside court he said: “I expected to be convicted. There is a lot of political pressure on the case.”
Leonors lawyer, Marcos Aragão Correiam has now written to the heads of Portugal, he writes:
Hon. Prime Minister of Portugal
With copies to:
Hon. President of the Republic;
Hon. President of the Republic Assembly;
Hon. President of the Bar Association;
Hon. President of Amnesty International Portugal;
22 October 2011
Honourable Prime Minister of Portugal:
It is with great honour that I forward to you this open letter from my constituent Leonor Maria Domingos Cipriano, dated and signed by this Portuguese Citizen on 14 October 2011 (transcribed below, and the original document attached here in PDF format).
Given the content of this public letter, we appeal to Your Excellency also a public response to the issues raised by my constituent.
One can summarize the content of the teleological questions to know the position of the Portuguese Government, given that the proven victims of crimes of torture remain without any compensation or support from the State, in flagrant violation of International Laws to which Portugal is legally bound to, namely the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading articles 11 to 15 inclusively, protected by the United Nations.
That is, we want to know if the commitment of the Portuguese Government in the implementation of international laws and agreements is limited solely to the application of economic austerity measures, or whether, by the contrary, it also covers all the other International Agreements of the Portuguese State, in particular the Protection of Human Rights.
With our best regards,
Marcos Aragão Correia,
Lawyer of Leonor Maria Domingos Cipriano.
Enclosing a letter from Leonor herself:
Leonor Maria Domingos Cipriano
Recluse No. 34
Odemira – Portugal
Hon. Prime Minister of Portugal
I write to you in order that Justice is done in the disappearance of Joana Cipriano my daughter, as I have tried to do since there are already many years and through my Lawyer Dr. Marcos Aragão Correia. In the year 2011, I proved in the Portuguese Courts, without further possibility of appeal, that I was brutally tortured by agents of the Portuguese State, particularly of the Judiciary Police. However, my ex-lawyer João Grade dos Santos, who represented me until August 2008, did not asked for compensation, although I said to him that I wanted to be compensated for the torture that I was victim. Nevertheless, and having finally changed of Lawyer in August 2008, I already could not submit the claim for compensation, because at the time that my current Lawyer Dr. Marcos Aragão Correia took my legal sponsorship and representation, all the legal deadlines for the requirement for compensation were for many months already expired, due to the exclusive fault of Dr. João Grade dos Santos, who represented me not according to my will.
Concluded that the process is about my torture, in Portugal, and once two convicted, who are Portuguese Judicial Police officers, to prison sentences (Antonio Cardoso and Gonçalo de Sousa Amaral), I appealed to the United Nations so that Justice could be done in practice since, despite the already proved evidence of torture, no practical consequences resulted from the ruling of the Portuguese Courts.
I want to clarify the position of the current Government of Portugal in relation to this matter, and for that I ask you the following:
1 – The Portuguese Government agrees with the use of torture by its agents?
2 – If not, what do you do to prevent this practice?
3 – In relation to the victims of torture, proven in court but without practical effects, as it is my case, what do the Government of Portugal thinks to do?
4 – Does the Government of Portugal considers that the Treaties and International Laws against torture should be honoured, since the Portuguese State is also signatory, and if yes, compensated the victims of torture, including, if necessary, by administrative way?
5 – Finally, and most important of all, what is the position of the Government of Portugal in relation to the police investigations on missing children, in which no scientific proof has been produced, nor the children were never found alive or dead.
I’ll wait, with despair and in jail, for the answers to the questions I posed to you.
More inform the address of my Lawyer, to which all these issues should be clarified in my name:
Marcos Aragão Correia
Calcada do Pico, 35
In the absence of your reply as Prime Minister of Portugal, I’ll assume, and will give notice to the United Nations, that continues to absolutely prevail in Portugal a total disrespect for the victims of crimes of torture and disappearances of children.
Odemira, 14 October 2011
Leonor Maria Domingos Cipriano
This all relates to a news report from AFP back in May 2011 where, lawyer Marcos Aragão Correia, takes his complaint about the torture of Leonor to the United Nations:
Leonor Cipriano’s lawyer presented the High Commissioner for Human Rights complaint against the Portuguese government for torture against the mother and stepfather of Joan, missing child in 2004 in the village of Figueira, Portimão, Algarve.
Marcos Aragão Correia said in a statement sent to media that “at last Tuesday, May 17, followed, via registered mail,” the complaint “formal practice of brutal torture against the child’s mother and stepfather Joana Cipriano,” Leandro Silva.
The lawyer added that “this is the first time lodged a complaint at the United Nations of its kind against Portugal, and all the earlier cases of other citizens against Portugal for the practice of similar violations, were admitted to the European Court of Human Rights” .
“We believe that this unprecedented process at the United Nations against the Portuguese state will result in a greater internationalism of the case of the disappearance of Joana Cipriano, leading to an increase in pressure, the Portuguese authorities to reopen the process and finally investigate the case in a scientific way and correct, “he said.
Joana Cipriano disappeared on September 12, 2004 and Leonor Cipriano and her brother and uncle of the girl, John Cipriano, were convicted in March 2006 to 16 years in prison each on charges of murder and concealment of a body.
The case came to court in 2008, with Joan’s mother accused five current and former inspectors of the Judicial Police (PJ), a process involving crimes of torture, failure to report and document forgery.
Up until, August 2008 Leonor was represented by João Grade dos Santos. Here is some background information relating to Goncalo Amaral and João Grade dos Santos:
Gonçalo Amaral, who in court helped to condemn Joana’s mother over her daughter’s death, is going to train, from January onwards, at the Portimão office of João Grade dos Santos, Leonor Cipriano’s first lawyer.
On the other hand, João Grade stopped defending Leonor – who exchanged him for lawyer Marcos Aragão Correia – on the eve of the trial of the five PJ inspectors and former inspectors that stood accused by the Public Ministry of torture over Joana’s mother.
“Since the first moment of the Joana case, I never forgot that I was merely a lawyer playing my role, and Amaral was a policeman”, João Grade dos Santos told 24horas.
“Gonçalo contacted me to become his patron during the training, which is due to start in January. Given the fact that he resides in Portimão and I have an office there, I think he chose me for a practical reason”, he explains. “That would be the reason, otherwise he would have proposed to practise at the office of his lawyer, António Cabrita [head of the Faro District division of the Lawyer’s Order], with whom he has an excellent relationship”, the lawyer explains.
It’s been months since João Grade dos Santos and Gonçalo Amaral started regular contact. “We speak very often”, the patron says about the retired inspector. João Grade even believes that the former inspector who led the Joana case investigation “may have been the victim of an injustice in the process over torture against Leonor Cipriano”.
And according to CdeM (Thanks to BB1 for finding this information)
Leonor Cipriano’s lawyer was arrested for drug possession, yesterday afternoon at the entrance of Odemira Regional Prison, where he was talking with customers. João Grade dos Santos, 50, went to visit three prisoners – one of Joan’s mother – and, according to information from Territorial Commando Brigade of the GNR of Évora, prison guards found during the security search, 45 doses of amphetamine and a quarter tablet of ecstasy.
As I said at the beginning of my post, I don’t know if Leonor is guilty or not of harming her daughter. I don’t support child killers, but I don’t support torture or beatings of prisoners whatsoever.
But if you speak out against the torture of Leonor Cipriano, you are accused of supporting child killers. What don’t these people understand? It is torture we are speaking out against, it doesn’t matter who the person is, torture by the Police is not acceptable in a modern democratic society. If Leonor is guilty of harming her daughter, then a life behind is what she deserves. But she doesn’t deserve to be tortured and neither does any other prisoner or person held in Police custody.