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Monte Tree Case

The final arguments of the trial of the Monte Tree case were heard yesterday.

The prosecutor noted that the testimonies of the experts heard by the court were “disparate,” acknowledging that, even though all possibilities have been discussed, there are still doubts. Despite this, the representative of some of the victims and assistants firmly believes that “there was a lack of care” on the part of the Chamber in maintaining that particular oak tree and other trees located in the vicinity.

Américo Silva Dias also complained that the court heard Pedro Ginja’s testimony as an expert, accusing the engineer of being biased, since he was hired by the defendant through the Funchal City Hall.

For its part, Idalina Perestrelo’s defence considered that “the defendants cannot be asked to do futurology,” underlining the technical information that pointed to the fact that it is a healthy tree with no signs of fragility.

The lawyer of the then Vice-Mayor of Funchal also indicated that there were several “flaws in the process” right from the start.

The defence also stated that it was Idalina Perestrelo who took responsibility after the incident, recalling that the Vice-Mayor immediately went to the scene, even without having technical knowledge or responsibility for security, and “only left after the last body had been removed”. Meanwhile, he stressed, the then president, Paulo Cafôfo, “was not seen at the site.”

The reading of the judgment is scheduled for the 21st of February, at 2:15 p.m.

Samantha Gannon

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