"By determination of the lady prosecutor of the 10th section of the DIAP the diligence was given without effect. The information we have is that the Public Prosecutor's Office is analysing the situation," said Paulo Graça, a lawyer representing the 13 military personnel, speaking to journalists outside the Military Judicial Police facilities in Restelo, Lisbon.
Paulo Graça said that the 13 military personnel were not made defendants, nor was a new deadline established for the hearing, reiterating that the "Public Prosecutor's Office is analysing the situation and ordered that the diligence be given without effect."
"It is entirely normal for the prosecutor, as an independent magistrate that she is, to want to see this process, to determine what she sees fit to determine," he said.
Asked if he considers that this suspension is due to the fact that the defence invokes that there were indications of evidence that were erased by the Navy, Paulo Graça said he did not want to comment on the matter.
Asked if, despite this suspension, he considers that the 13 military personnel will be made defendants, the lawyer replied: "I don't think I should go in there."
Paulo Graça said that the 13 military personnel will now "normally exercise the functions in the posts assigned to them" and "work normally," and added that they are with "a very serene and very dignified posture."
Asked if, after having spoken to them, the military maintains that the decision not to embark was due strictly to the lack of security conditions, Paulo Graça said that "the reasons that determined that these military personnel were involved in this matter are broad reasons."
"They will be known with certainty at the appropriate time and within the framework of the proper processes: we cannot get ahead, justice will make its way, namely civil justice. As for the justice of the Navy, we already know what we are counting on," he said.
Paulo Graça said that disciplinary proceedings are already being processed in the Navy, although he does not yet know their contours, but anticipated that they will be "true farces".
"Mr. Admiral, Chief of Staff of the Navy, has already determined within the Navy what he understood about it. And so the 13 disciplinary proceedings will probably be 13 farces," he said.
The lawyer said that the sanctions provided for in these Navy proceedings "can go up to disciplinary detention for 30 days in a unit," which is the "highest sanction that the regulation of military discipline provides."
"But there is also suspension, there are other sanctions. From A to Z, anything is possible," he said.
For his part, Garcia Pereira, who also represents the 13 military personnel, considered that the Navy's disciplinary processes are already "pre-decided," since Admiral Henrique Gouveia e Melo "promised and boasted that they were quick to decide and that the sanctioning measures would come quickly."
"Within the Navy, there is no need to expect much, because everyone realizes that there will be no officer of the Navy who dares, in the current situation, to go against the decision that Admiral Gouveia e Melo has already taken and has already transmitted to the country, under penalty of himself also suffering any consequences," told.
Despite this, Garcia Pereira stressed that "a disciplinary decision is also judicially impugnable," anticipating that "there is still a lot of water to run under the bridges regarding this matter."
"One thing that has impressed me has been the serenity, the pride of having the Navy uniform worn by these men. We are not talking about boys, irresponsible, miserable, (...) we are talking about people who gave their lives to the Navy, some of them 20 years ago, with praise," he said.
The 13 soldiers who refused to board the ship Mondego, alleging lack of security, were to be heard today by the PJM, in Lisbon, as part of a criminal investigation after participation made by the Navy.
Prosecutor's Office suspended hearing of military personnel
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