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Monte Tree Trial – Day of Reckoning

The two defendants in the Monte Tree Tragedy case, Idalina Perestrelo responsible for Urban Environment, Green and Public Spaces, and the head of the Gardens and Green Spaces Division, Francisco Andrade, will find out today whether they are to stand trial and if so, what crimes will be levied against them. Both were accused by the Public Ministry of 13 crimes of negligent homicide and 49 offences of  involuntary or negligent physical integrity.

The then mayor, Paulo Cafôfo, was also accused, but the Public Ministry dropped the case against him justifying their actions by saying that the ex-mayor had delegated the overseeing of green spaces to other members of his team.

On the 15th of August 2017, a large 150 year-old oak tree fell on the crowd as they watched the procession at Largo da Fonte, Monte during the ‘Day of Our Lady of Monte’ festivities. Thirteen people were killed and approximately a hundred other people were injured.

Later this afternoon, Judge Susana Mão de Ferro confirmed during a hearing at the Judicial Court of Funchal that both Idalina Perestrelo and Francisco Andrade will be each charged with 13 counts of negligent homicide and 24 ‘integrity negligence’ offences.

When interviewed, ex-Funchal Mayor, Paulo Cafôfo stated he has collaborated with the authorities from the start, and this tragic event has marked his life and that of the victims families, who “deserve all of his respect.”  He went on to say that he hopes that the trial of the two defendants will be fair and swift, so that the process can come to an end, and that that justice will have served.

Samantha Gannon

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