Évora Relation (TRE) considered that former minister Eduardo Cabrita “was in a position to, at the very least, tell the driver to comply with traffic rules”, in its most recent ruling on the fatal hit-and-run on the A6.

“The defendant was in a position to, at the very least, tell the driver to comply with the traffic rules outside of any urgency, by respecting the duty of care imposed on him and, by that means, avoiding the result (in this case the homicide )”, it reads.

The judgment of the judges of the Court of Appeal of Évora (TRE), dated this Tuesday and consulted this Friday by the Lusa agency, is what upheld the appeal filed by the Association of Self-Mobilized Citizens (ACA-M) .

This association, assistant in the case of the fatal running over of worker Nuno Santos on Highway 6 (A6), in the Évora area, by the entourage of the former Minister of Internal Administration (MAI), advanced with the appeal after the rejection by the judge of criminal investigation of the its request for opening of instruction (RAI) targeting Eduardo Cabrita.

With the appeal, the ACA-M intends that the former minister be pronounced for trial for a crime of negligent homicide, by omission.

The appellate judges met, on Tuesday, in a conference, and considered the appeal “provided”.

Previously, the TRE had partially granted another appeal, this time presented by the family of the fatal victim, on the judicial decision that rejected the RAI to hold Eduardo Cabrita responsible and, in this specific case, also his head of security, Nuno Dias, who will now respond in the instruction phase for homicide by negligence and dangerous driving.

Contacted this Friday by Lusa, the ACA-M lawyer, Paulo Graça, was satisfied with the decision of the Évora Court of Appeal.

“What does the appealed order say? In simple language, that I did not present the RAI in conditions to open the instruction. But I appealed and said that the application was well done and that I did not omit anything”, he said.

And this is also what the Relação de Évora concluded: “It says that the application is well done and, contrary to the investigating judge, it says that the association indicated facts that integrate the subjective element, so the RAI is in a position to be appreciated” .

The instruction phase will now be opened for the three defendants, that is, for the driver of the former minister, Marco Pontes, the only person accused in the process, of homicide by negligence, and whose instructional debate had already taken place, and also for Eduardo Cabrita and Nuno Dias.

“The instruction is opened with Eduardo Cabrita by two assistants, the ACA-M and the family, and will be appreciated from the perspective of both, which does not entirely coincide. There is a point on which we coincide, which is the issue of homicide, but the family thinks it is by action and that it also includes the head of security and ACA-M thinks it is by omission”, explained Paulo Graça.

The lawyer said he hoped that “by June or July” this phase of the process “will be completed, with the order of pronunciation or non-pronunciation”.

The victim’s family lawyer, Joaquim Barros, told Lusa that the fact that the TRE had granted the ACA-M appeal “does not change anything”, as Eduardo Cabrita and Nuno Dias “were already going to respond in the instruction phase , which will also be opened for the driver, as a result of the appeals and the fact that the investigating judge has not yet taken a final decision” regarding Marco Pontes.

The instruction, an optional phase of the evidence-gathering process that can be requested by defendants to contest the charge, is directed by a judge, unlike the inquiry phase, which is directed by the Public Ministry (MP).

On June 18, 2021, Nuno Santos, an employee of a company that carried out maintenance work on the A6, was fatally run over by the car in which the then minister was traveling, in the municipality of Évora.


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