The Constitutional Court (TC) ruled that the appeal filed by João Rendeiro and Paulo Guichard in the context of the Banco Privado Português (BPP) case is inadmissible, according to the decision, to which Lusa had access.
“The merits of the appeal cannot be known and, the assessment of the other admissibility assumptions being idle – in view of the need for their cumulative verification -, it is concluded, from now on, that it is inadmissible”, the document reads .
Thus, the TC decided “not to know about the object of the appeal filed” by both João Rendeiro and Paulo Guichard.
In the document, the Court recalls that the case, coming from the Supreme Court of Justice, had two constitutional appeals, filed by former BPP managers, but which the TC considered now not admissible.
On May 14, the court sentenced the former president of Banco Privado Português (BPP), João Rendeiro, to 10 years in prison, according to the reading of the sentence at the Justice Campus in Lisbon.
The court also sentenced Salvador Fezas Vital to nine years and six months in prison, Paulo Guichard to also nine years and six months in prison and Fernando Lima to six years in prison.
These convictions to effective sentences for the crimes of tax fraud, breach of trust and money laundering result from a process extracted from the first mega-process of document falsification and computer forgery, of which former BPP administrators had already been convicted (including João Rendeiro, to five years and eight months in prison).
As Judge Tânia Loureiro Gomes, who presided over the panel of judges, said today, the defendants are “convicted in an exemplary and expressive manner because the facts they committed are serious” and the community would not understand otherwise.
Rendeiro and other former BPP administrators were accused of crimes of qualified tax fraud, aggravated abuse of trust and money laundering for facts that occurred between 2003 and 2008 after having awarded prizes and misappropriated the bank’s money.
The court found that the defendants João Rendeiro, Fezas Vital, Paulo Guichard and Fernando Lima withdrew, in total, 31.280 million euros for their personal sphere. Of the total amount, more than 28 million euros were withdrawn between 2005 and 2008.
João Rendeiro took 13.613 million euros from the bank, Salvador Fezas Vital 7.770 million euros, António Paulo Guichard 7.703 million euros and Fernando Lima 2.193 million euros.
The former banker was not present at the reading of the judgment, dismissed for having undergone surgery.
Despite the reason for not being present, the judge said that the fact that Rendeiro was only at the hearing when he was making statements is a reflection of his personality.
Tânia Loureiro Gomes considered that João Rendeiro “has no sense of self-criticism or self-censorship” in face of the facts he practiced and maintains an “arrogant posture”, “not showing regret”.
The former administrator Paulo Guichard was also not in the reading of the judgment, as he was in Brazil, and the judge considered that his absence at the trial demonstrates a “total devaluation” of the acts committed.
In reading the judgment, the judge said that the crimes committed by these former managers cause alarm in the community.
In the case of tax evasion crimes, the court took into account that “the citizen who fulfills his tax duties expects other members of the community to contribute to the same desideratum and to do so in proportion to their income”.
Also in relation to the crime of breach of trust, the judge said that the court cannot be oblivious to the social alarm that such conduct provokes in the community and in trust in the financial system.
As for other former BPP officials who were also accused in this case, the court decided in relation to Mário Sampaio da Silva to condemn the suspended sentence of two years in prison and the delivery within two years of 50 thousand euros to the Portuguese Association of Inmate Support. As for João Ramalho, the alleged facts of co-authorship of money laundering were not proven.
The civil indemnity request by the Public Prosecutor’s Office on behalf of the Portuguese State was “partially valid”, but the judge did not indicate the amount, as the BPP’s compensation request (in liquidation) of 29 million euros to the defendants Rendeiro, Fezas Vital and Guichard was “fully founded”.
The seized assets, including four properties owned by João Rendeiro, are lost to the State.
In the scope of the BPP case, former administrators had already been convicted of crimes of document forgery and computer forgery. João Rendeiro was, in this case, sentenced to five years and eight months in prison.
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of Justice upheld the conviction of the former president of the BPP. The former banker then filed an appeal with the Constitutional Court.
The collapse of BPP, a bank dedicated to the management of wealth, took place in 2010, after the BPN case and preceding other scandals in Portuguese banking.