The Portuguese justice issued, this Friday, an arrest warrant for João Vale e Azevedo. The Lisbon Court found the former president of Benfica to be contumacious, that is, it concluded that he deliberately refuses to appear before a judge.
At stake is a case in which Vale e Azevedo is accused of providing false guarantees of three million euros in legal proceedings and of trying to circumvent BCP, also with false guarantees, to obtain a credit of 25 million euros.
It is recalled that, since March 2019, the court has tried, without success, to notify João Vale e Azevedo, who lives and works in London since 2018, to be tried in this case.
On June 30, the Court decreed a period of 30 days for Vale and Azevedo to appear in court. “So far, and after that period, he has not appeared”, reads the statement of the judges, released by CNN Portugal. Therefore, the Judicial Court of the District of Lisbon considered the defendant “contumaz”. Therefore, Vale e Azevedo was declared a fugitive from justice and could be tried in absentia, that is, without his presence.
It was along with the declaration of contumacy that the judge ordered an arrest warrant to be issued, which must be accompanied by an international arrest warrant.
In the declaration of contumacy, the panel of judges considered it “evident” that Vale e Azevedo tried “in a biased way” (saying that he was never notified or that he claimed health reasons), “to achieve what he was unable to achieve through appeal. , sought to “stumble the process, in a clear distortion of the principles and institutes that govern the criminal process”.