SEF. Witnesses claim that inspectors used a baton without an order to the contrary

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Mário Cruz / Lusa

SEF elements heard this Tuesday as defense witnesses to defendant Luís Silva at the trial of the alleged murder of Ukrainian passenger Ihor Homeniuk declared that several inspectors of that service had batons, and there was no “order of service” to the contrary.

The issue is considered relevant to the defense of two of the three defendants – Luís Silva and Duarte Laja – who, in addition to being accused together with Bruno Sousa of the qualified murder of Igor Homeniuk, allegedly beaten to death at the facilities of the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) at Lisbon airport, they are responsible for the crime of possession of a prohibited weapon (baton), reported the agency Lusa.

Jorge Gomes, from SEF, testified that SEF inspectors were “administered classes with baton”, at least since 2004, but as a “method of removal and control of people”, telling the court to have an idea that batons were distributed to the elements of that force (which are a criminal police body) during the Euro-2004 football tournament in Portugal.

“I have an idea that batons were distributed at Euro-2004,” said Jorge Lemos, who taught self-defense and handcuffing classes to several SEF inspectors, including Duarte Laja, one of three accused of Ihor Hmeniuk’s death from physical violence.

Also Pedro Martins, from SEF, listed as a defense witness to defendant Luís Silva, came to say in court to know that “some colleagues” of the SEF had “Extensible canes”, having no knowledge of “some service order” to the contrary, which prohibited the carrying of the baton.

On the way out, Maria Manuel Candal, Luís Silva’s lawyer, referred that the issue of batons was a matter that “had not been very focused to date” in judgment.

After the testimonies of this Tuesday, “there is no doubt that the batons were not only distributed, but the SEF itself trained in the use of the baton”, being also “a weapon of free purchase by the elements of the SEF as a police body. criminal, ”said the lawyer.

Of the other defense witnesses heard this Tuesday, we also highlight the questioning of nurse Jofrina Zinaeda Patrício, who works at Lisbon airport, who she said she found on March 12, Ihor Homeniuk “lying on a mattress”, with bandages tied on feet and hands, and who only babbled “hum, hum” when faced with the call of his name, this after the three accused had been alone in the doctors’ room with the unsuccessful Ukrainian passenger.

The nurse reported that she saw bruises on Ihor’s arms and that he had “very swollen hands” probably due to the bandages that tied him, not remembering if he was tied with his hands in front or behind his back.

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399d858f83b16286f4de2bbab8dd4842 SEF. Witnesses claim that inspectors used a baton without an order to the contrary

Ihor Homeniuk

The nurse told the panel of judges, chaired by Rui Coelho, who immediately said that Ihor had to be observed at the hospital, having been called INEM. She also checked her blood glucose and respiratory movements, but in the meantime, the passenger went into cardiorespiratory arrest before the ambulance arrived, and she was the one who did the first basic life support or resuscitation.

Questioned by prosecutor Leonor Machado, the nurse denied that anyone at the SEF facility had told her that Ihor had “a seizure crisis, followed by aspiration of vomiting”. He also said that the room where the passenger was “smelled very bad”, the stench being detectable just outside the so-called doctors’ room where the Ukrainian was isolated and lying on a mattress.

During the hearing, Sara Fernandes Monteiro, from the National Institute of Legal Medicine (INMLCF), was heard, who reported the arrival of the corpse, in the presence of two SEF inspectors and two elements of the Dafundo firefighters. He spoke of the normal procedures in this type of situation (measurement, fingerprints), and the firefighters signed the body’s entry document for the INMLCF’s freezer.

According to the prosecution, around 8:15 am on March 12, and while Ihor was still in detention, the defendants Duarte Laja, Bruno Sousa and Luís Silva went to the doctors’ room, and before that Luís Silva was addressing to the vigilant Mihaela Roxana Andrei, who was at the reception, where the names of all the people who enter there are registered, said: “attention, you are not going to put our names there, ok?”

The accusation goes that Inspector Luís Silva carried an extendable baton and another inspector a pair of handcuffs. Then they went to the room where Ihor was and, after handcuffing him with his hands behind his back and tying his elbows with bandages, they delivered an “indeterminate number of punches and kicks” on his body.

“When the offended person was lying on the floor, the three inspectors also with the extendable baton continued to deliver kicks and on the offended person’s torso and several strokes in the same area, while shouting, they demanded that he remain quiet”, having, on that occasion, some guards approached the room and opened the door, which was propped up, and were immediately rebuked by Inspector Duarte Laja, who after sending them away said to them: “This is for nobody to see”.

Around 16:43 on that day – says the prosecution – Chief Inspector Gabriel Amaral Pinto and Inspector Rui Marques went to the room with the purpose of transferring Ihor to Istanbul and then verified that the victim did not react.

“For this reason and after a few hours, the INEM and an emergency medical vehicle were activated, and the doctor on duty of the latter crew, checked Ihor’s death, at approximately 18:40 and just wrote in the bulletin:“ in respiratory arrest witnessed after a convulsive crisis ”.

It alleges the accusation that the defendants and other SEF inspectors “did everything to omit from the Public Prosecutor the facts that culminated in the death of the victim”, even informing the Public Prosecutor that Ihor “Was struck by a sudden illness”.