Edition 1492
15 September 2018
Edition: 1492

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Portugal’s government sends letter to Iraq over twins accused of attempted murder

in News · 06-09-2018 09:54:00 · 0 Comments

Portugal’s foreign affairs minister has sent a letter of request to the Iraqi authorities to notify them of the two Iraqi twins who were accused of trying to kill a 15-year-old in central Portugal in 2016.

Portugal’s government sends letter to Iraq over twins accused of attempted murder

In January this year, Portugal’s Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP) issued an indictment against Ridha and Haider, sons of former Iraqi ambassador in Lisbon Saad Mohammed Ali, for attempted murder of Ruben Cavaco, in the early hours of 17 August, 2016, in Ponte de Sor, district of Portalegre.
At the time of the events, the twins were 17-years-old.
In January, prosecutor Aurora Rodrigues said in the indictment that the whereabouts of the defendants were unknown, which is why she requested the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), after translation, to investigate with the Iraqi authorities, to ensure the accused were notified of the accusation.
“A letter rogatory for the notification of the defendants was issued, which, following the usual procedure, was transmitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs”, the PGR said in a statement to Lusa News Agency.
A letter rogatory, or letter of request, is a legal instrument of cooperation between two countries, through which a country requires the enforcement of a judicial act by the court of another country, so that it cooperates in the practice of a particular procedural act.
Cavaco was left seriously injured with multiple fractures after a vicious altercation at a bar and was hospitalised for over a month, having been placed in an induced coma.
The twins were aged 17 at the time of the incident and were protected by diplomatic immunity.
The Portuguese government twice asked Iraq to lift the immunity so that the two young boys could be interrogated about the aggressions.
In January 2017, the Iraqi ambassador reached an out-of-court agreement with the victim’s family.
Rubén Cavaco’s family lawyer said an agreement was reached to “close the case” for the family.
Conflicting reports state the settlement for the violently assaulted teen placed the amount agreed at €30,000 to €52,000.
In the wake of the incident the teenage twins, one of whom was attending piloting school in Portugal, claimed they were “victims of circumstances that easily happen in Portugal.”
Giving their version of events in an exclusive interview with broadcaster SIC, the boys admitted being involved in a brawl, but denied running the teen over.
At the start of 2017, Iraq refused to lift the twins’ diplomatic immunity but withdrew its diplomatic representative from Lisbon.
Iraq assured Portugal that it would continue the judicial inquiry into the sons of Ambassador Saad Mohammed Ali. The twins are believed to have left Portugal in December 2016.
At the time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had not been notified of the boys’ travel plans.

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Edition 1492
15 September 2018
Edition: 1492

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter

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