The 46-year-old man, who was placed in preventive custody at the end of May last year, after being detained with about 40 grams of a product that the GNR suspected to be cocaine, but that analyzes revealed in November to be sugar, wants the criminal investigating judge removed from the case.
According to information collected by JN, the man who was released on January 27, after eight months in preventive detention, requested this Tuesday that the magistrate refuse. In an application, the suspect’s lawyer, João Peres, argues that the judge showed partiality in the case. He also accuses him of having practiced delaying maneuvers to have kept the defendant in custody, after the Scientific Police Laboratory confirmed, in November, that the seized product did not correspond to drugs.
It was in the late afternoon of the 31st of May that Manuel Lourenço Gomes, a resident of Verín, Spain, was approached by the GNR. In the glove compartment of the Nissan van he was driving was a silver-wrapped package containing 39 grams of white powder. The military will have carried out a quick test at a local pharmacy to check if it was cocaine. In the official report of the GNR, to which JN had access, it can be read that the substance reacted positively to the narcotic test.
Manuel Lourenço Gomes soon claimed that it was sugar and that he was keeping the package because he was diabetic in order to be able to restore his blood glucose levels in case of a crisis. However, the suspect had traveled to Portugal to see a friend who had been, for several months, being investigated by GNR soldiers as part of an inquiry into a trafficking network operating in Trás-os-Montes.
With the alleged drug and suspicious links to an individual connected with trafficking, Manuel Lourenço Gomes was placed in preventive detention, after the first judicial interrogation at the Court of Torre de Moncorvo. He was placed in jail in Bragança, where he left at the end of January, after the investigating judge changed the coercive measures.