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NRP Mondego Case – Becalmed and Drifting

According to news advanced by Renascença, the disciplinary process against the 13 Naval servicemen sailing onboard the NRP Mondego has been held in abeyance since the 27th of  July last year, with the lawyers of the accused servicemen not understanding the reason for the delay. Hedging his bets, Paulo Graça, one of the military’s defence lawyers, told media outlet, Renascença, that the case was not proceeding as the Portuguese Navy for some reason didn’t want to move forward with the case.

Last year crew from the NRP Mondego refused to sail and track a Russian ‘Research vessel’ that was sailing through Madeiran waters.  The crew cited that their vessel was not sea-worthy, as generators had failed and the ship leaked.

The lawyer accuses the Navy of playing a non-transparent role in concealing evidence. “The Navy has guided its behaviour by the concealment of evidence, rejecting the required evidence by creating a smoke screen to hide the truth of the situation. For example, messages exchanged between the ship’s commander and the Navy’s hierarchy reporting the state in which the ship was. It’s this type of information the Navy is desperately trying to keep out of the trial.”

“It is strange that the process is stopped without any kind of desire to bring the case to a conclusion. If I were acting independently, I would be the first to want to solve the case,” he added.

Concluding he added that the affected sailors are all on active duty and if it wasn’t for this they would all have unblemished Naval records.”

Samantha Gannon

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