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Sephardic Jews: Rabbi of Porto appeals against coercive measures and denounces alleged illegalities by the Public Ministry

The appeal was distributed at the Lisbon Court of Appeal (TRL) on the 15th and the defense of Daniel Litvak contests the coercive measures that go beyond the Term of Identity and Residence (TIR) ​​- which stems from the constitution as the defendant in this case – , that is, the ban on leaving Portugal (with the delivery of his two passports), presentations to the authorities three times a week and the ban on contacts with the also accused João de Almeida Garrett.

According to the document that Lusa had access to, the defense of the CIP rabbi – who was arrested on March 10 by the Judiciary Police (PJ) – denies that there is a danger of escape, disruption of the investigation or continuation of criminal activity by part of the defendant and also refutes the existence of strong indications of the practice of the alleged crimes: document falsification, influence peddling, active corruption, money laundering and criminal association.

For the defense of Daniel Litvak, in charge of the lawyer Paulo Saragoça da Matta, the rabbi’s detention outside of flagrante delicto “was illegal”, since it was ordered by the Public Ministry (MP) and this can only occur when the requirements are met. of preventive detention.

The application of the most serious coercive measure depends on strong evidence and the fulfillment of another presupposition, in this case, that of an intentional crime with a prison sentence of more than three years, which would include the falsification of documents – the only crime to which the Central Criminal Investigation Court (TCIC) recognized strong evidence. However, forgery of documents only has a criminal frame equal to three years in prison.

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“The MP was not competent to order the detention of the accused, because, in this case, preventive detention is not admissible”, maintains the appeal, which also criticizes the prosecutors and the investigating judge for allegedly violating the constitutional right of religion and worship during the period between the arrest and the first judicial interrogation of Daniel Litvak, by not allowing the three daily prayers provided for in the Jewish religion.

The rabbi’s defense also alleges the invalidity of the interrogation because an interpreter was not made available to Daniel Litvak, who has Israeli and Argentine nationality, ensuring that the defendant does not speak Portuguese. At the same time, he denounces that a copy of the recording of the order was not immediately delivered and censures the TCIC’s decision to hand over to the Central Department of Investigation and Criminal Action (DCIAP) the analysis of the request for a copy of the order.

Emphasizing an unconstitutional limitation of the right of defense, the rabbi also refutes the elements of Abramovich’s naturalization process, stressing that only one document was prepared by the CIP. “Only one of the documents could possibly be related to the activity performed by the accused. (…) It so happens that neither this document was written nor signed by the accused”, reads the appeal on the aforementioned opinion, which was signed by the vice-president of the CIP, Isabel Ferreira Lopes.

“The contested order must be revoked and replaced by another that, considering the evidence and grounds listed by the MP in the promotion, limits the defendant’s coercive measures to the TIR”, says the defense, also invoking the revocation for lack of danger. of flight, the lack of grounds for disturbing the investigation and the “incongruity” of invoking the danger of flight and the danger of continuing criminal activity at the same time.

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In response to the appeal, the MP refuted the accusations of alleged illegalities after the arrest of Daniel Litvak and assured that the practice of the crimes attributed to the accused is strongly indicted, also reiterating the existence of danger of escape, continuation of criminal activity and disturbance of the investigation, concluding that the enforcement measures applied are necessary, adequate and proportionate and that the appeal must be dismissed by the TRL.

The Attorney General’s Office confirmed on 19 January that the granting of Portuguese nationality to Russian businessman Roman Abramovich under the Nationality Law for Sephardic Jews (Jews from the Iberian Peninsula who were expelled from Portugal in the 16th century) was being subject of an investigation by the MP.

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