Joana's mother now says that her uncle killed girl

January 17, 2009
Joana's mother now says that her uncle killed girl
Algarve Reporter

Leonor Cipriano changed her testimony. Document written in prison Odmira, was handed to prosecutors yesterday

[Portuguese to English translation - Google]

Leonor Cipriano, mother of Joana, the girl disappeared from Lagos, in September 2004, revealed yesterday at the Prison Odemira, her brother, João Cipriano, also sentenced to prison in the same case, was the sole author of the girl's death.

Leonor's lawyer, Marcos Aragão Correia, said the testimony of eight pages in the client account "the real story" was delivered yesterday morning at the Public Ministry and will be made available to reporters outside the Court of Faro.

According to the lawyer, who noted the written testimony, the client explained that her brother convinced her to give the girl a couple who would take her to Spain. In return, the family would receive money and the promise of a better life for the child.

'João said to her (Leonor) to be at peace because they were persons of confidence ", says the lawyer. "When Joana left home, the intention was to deliver her to people and simulating a kidnapping," he continues, citing the client.

The moment that Joana leaves home, her uncle comes in and picking up some girl's clothes, leaving shortly afterwards with a bag.

The 'business' of selling the girl will not run as expected.
"People had not agreed the money (a sum that Leonor has not disclosed) and João did not give the girl."

Yet the child "heard the conversation and said to the uncle that she would tell everything."

Thereafter, the Lawyer (Marcos Aragão Correia), citing Leonor Cipriano,
'João starts hitting the girl and ends up killing her to blow. "
When he returned home he tried to hide a murder, but at the insistence of Leonor, who had found blood stains in the pants of her brother, João ended up confessing.

João hid the body in a place close to home the next day and buried her "up there to the mountains of Figueira, 'says (Marcos Aragão Correia), citing the words of João Cipriano. In the face of "threats of her brother ',' (Leonor) decided to forget and say that she knew nothing."

The confession of her (Leonor's)  involvement in the killing have been made "under torture" when it was heard by the PJ inspectors, says the lawyer (Marcos Aragão Correia).

The decision to count only now the "truth" is justified by "faith" that Leonor has established with the new lawyer (Marcos Aragão Correia), and with the realization that she had nothing to fear. 'At the time of the crime, her brother threatened her saying that he would also tell them everything prey, but now she is stuck and can not get worse, "argues  Marcos Correia.

With this revelation, the defense intends Leonor: 'restart the search and retrieve the body of Joana, you make funeral and ask the court to find out who is the couple who tried to buy the child. "

The request for review of sentence shall be suspended until the outcome of the case in which five PJ inspectors are responsible for attacks against Leonor Cipriano during an interrogation.

The appeal for review of sentence, always appreciated the Supreme Court may be filed, in particular, where there is new evidence that rocks the justice of a conviction or sentence when one considers that a subsequent conviction resulted from the use of prohibited evidence. Evidence obtained through torture are prohibited. A review of sentence may involve a re-trial.

Remember that in November 2005, Leonor and João Cipriano were sentenced respectively to 20 years and four months in prison and 19 years and two months.

In May 2008, the Supreme Court reduced the sentences to 16 years and eight months in prison. The ruling had dissenting opinions, with some advisers understand that the sentence violated the principle of presumption of innocence and that the girl's mother, whose body never appeared, should have been acquitted.

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