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Duarte Lima to face trial in Brazil for murder

limaPolitician, lawyer and businessman Duarte Lima is to be tried by a jury in Brazil on suspicion of murdering heiress Rosalina Ribeiro.

The judge who will hear the case in Saquarema Court, Rio de Janeiro today confirmed the intention of the Brazilian Public Ministry to prosecute Lima thus ending months of speculation that he might not be charged at all.

The decision was announced by the judge Ricardo Pinheiro Machado after police investigations appear to have yielded sufficient evidence of Lima’s role in Rosalina Ribeiro death in 2009.

The former parliamentary leader of the PSD was acting as Rosalina Ribeiro’s lawyer in a case that involved the estate of Portuguese millionaire Lucio Feiteira who died in 2000.

Lima denied all knowedge of Ribeiro's violent and untimely death but €5.2 million later was transferred from Brazil to Lima’s Swiss bank account following her murder and suspicions include the forgery of Ribeiro's signature.

Rosalina Ribeiro lived in Rio de Janeiro and was found murdered on wasteland with two bullets in the chest and one in the head. Her body lay at the Cabo Frio Forensic Medicine Institute for twelve days before being identified by friends.

Duarte Lima’s defence lawyers made a request to the judge in April this year to ask whether he was going to be charged or not.

At the time, Lima sent a statement to newsrooms stating that he wanted a "final judgment on the facts that left no doubt as to his innocence," yet Lima also has said that there is no way he is going to Brazil, or even outside of Portugal where he can be arrested and extradited to face trial in person.

The Brazilian authorities now have concluded that Duarte Lima and Rosalina Ribeiro clashed over the legacy left by Lucio Feiteira who made his fortune in South America.

The indictment states that Duarte Lima shot Rosalina Ribeiro as she refused to sign a document that illegally diverted millions of euros of Feteira’s legacy to his own account.

Duarte Lima already has been sentenced to 10 years in jail in Portugal for aggravated fraud and money laundering in the BPN case but is free pending his appeal hearing.

If Lima's appeal is refused and he is locked up in Portugal, it is not yet known how and when he will face trial in Brazil but the process may go ahead without him present and condemn him to up to 30 years in jail.

If Lima's appeal is successful enough to avoid a jail sentence in Portugal, there is no automatic extradition agreement or treaty between the two countries that would enable his arrest and shipment to Brazil to face trial.

Despite these technicalities, it is cheering that the Brazilian judicial system at least has taken the first big step.

Lima remains on Interpol's Most wanted list:



For the BPB case summary and explanation of the events surrounding Ribeiro's murder, click on:




-12 #1 Denzil 2015-05-05 21:22
no extradition treaty between the two countries ...

This says it all. Just how backward are these two countries - both intimately tied with so much joint history? But not able to establish extradition.

The legacy for Brazil of having been a Portuguese territory ? So also having a super privileged elite who can do what they like when they like. Which extradition might, as now with Duarte Lima, inconvenience ?

The assumption we must make now being that Duarte Lima, with his contacts, will wriggle out of his Portuguese fraud case and that will be that. Or can the Brazilians do an Israeli Mossad type kidnap?

Perhaps the main difference between the countries being that Brazil's school history books teach that they are grateful for the British to have been getting stuck in as and when needed to keep their countries independence. Portugal not so.