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Former Finance Minister, Emilia Pires Former Finance Minister, Emilia Pires

Judges Can’t Speak Portuguese, Says Pires Featured

DILI: Emilia Pires has continued to defend her refusal to return to Timor-Leste to face her seven-year prison sentence, honing in onthe Portuguese language capacity of the Dili District Court’s judgesas a key reason for her not taking their verdict as fair.

In a brazen but rare form of direct communicationaddressed in an open letter to the President of the Republic, Taur Matan Ruak, the former Minister for Finance has questioned Timor-Leste’s judge’s competence in Portuguese and understanding of legal system, as she outlined her need for a special legal team to analyse her case.

 Pires, who was sentenced to seven years jail on 20 December 2016, has refused to return from Portugal to face corruption charge, siting concern the court did not use facts and she would not receive a fair hearing.

On Friday, a prominent legal administrator spoke out against the allegations, warning Pires to come up with specific examples before making allegations.

“Tell me where and when the judge’s have been weak?”Duarte Tilman, theJudge Administrator for the Dili District Court said.

Pires has denied she acted in self-interest when she signed a multi-million dollar petroleum contract to her husband in 2008 when she was Minister for Finance. 

Read 1467 times Last modified on Tuesday, 31 January 2017 15:42
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