Jurors waiting for 16 thousand euros

Jurors waiting for 16 thousand euros
23 October 2009
Thanks to Astro for translation
The Faro Court decision that condemned Gonçalo Amaral can only move into appeal after the members of the jury are paid

The eight jurors that were present during the process of Leonor Cipriano against Polícia Judiciária (PJ) agents have not been paid by the Court of Faro, which is delaying the appeals that were filed by the lawyers at the Appeals Court. An amount that exceeds 16 thousand euro has not been paid and is standing in the way of a decision from the Appeals Court, given that the appeals concerning applied sentences and acquittals cannot move from the first instance into the Appeals Court unless the eight members of the jury are paid. The law does not foresee any legal deadline for appeals to reach the Appeals Court.

Five appeals are at issue. One from the lawyer that represents former PJ inspector Gonçalo Amaral, who did not conform over the condemnation for false deposition. One from the representative of Leonor Cipriano, who did not agree with the acquittal of Leonel Marques, Paulo Cristóvão and Paulo Marques Bom. And a third appeal that was written by the lawyers who represent one of the Judiciária agents, António Cardoso, condemned over document forgery.

These three appeals are joined by two that were filed prior to the sentence and for which the PJ agents' lawyers are responsible. One of the requests focuses on the Lawyers' Order being made an assistant in the process – which the agent's defence considers not to be one of the Orders' purposes and says is at odds with its statutes. And the second one was filed because the defence considers it had a right to hear a statement from Marinho Pinto, the head of the Lawyers' Order, which was refused because he was an assistant in the process, The defence called Marinho Pinto (given that as a journalist he published Leonor Cipriano's photos in the "Expresso" newspaper) as a witness, but due to the fact that he made himself an assistant, the judge rejected his witness statement.

This is a total of five appeals that wait for delivery at the Appeals Court in Évora, in order to be evaluated. According to judicial sources that were contacted by i, the case may drag on for some time, given that the Judicial Court of Faro may not have enough financial resources for this year, in order to pay over 16 thousand euro that the jury is owed.

According to the Jurors' Statute, "after the sentence is read in the first instance, compensation is attributed based on every day that the function was effectively exercised". This means that each one of the jurors – four effectives and four substitutes – receives one account unit (102 euro) for each day of work. There were approximately 16 court sessions, three meetings of the jurors with the judges and one interview during selection phase, which sums 20 days of pay for each juror.

In this process, in which Leonor Cipriano accused the Judiciária inspectors of torture, it was the defence that requested a jury trial, although the use of jurors is uncommon in Portugal. According to statements made at that time, the defence lawyers wanted "for the people to judge the police agents".

Less serious cases are tried by a judge.
More serious cases are tried by three judges, or exceptionally, by a jury.

Return to top of page Copyright © 2010 | Flash News Converted into Blogger Template by HackTutors