MP asks for annulment of the judgment of the Relation on Tancos in the part of the metadata | Justice

The Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP) asked the Court of Appeal of Évora (TRE) for the “partial nullity” of the judgment in the case of Tancos, claiming that there was insufficient reasoning to invalidate the use of metadata.

In the application submitted by the deputy attorney general Ana Mendes de Almeida, to which Lusa had access, the MP states that “the nullity claim results, from the outset, from the uncertainty arising from the terms of the decision, as to the metadata that the court of appeal (TRE) understands to substantiate a use of evidence from a means of obtaining prohibited evidence” in the process of the theft of weapons from the National Storerooms of Tancos.

The MP considers that some of the metadata in question are related to wiretapping “in progress at the time of the investigation”, as a result of previous judicial decisions taken under the regime resulting from the Code of Criminal Procedure (CPP) in “nothing covered by the effects of the decision of the Constitutional Court that decided on preserved and conserved data and their transmission”.

The MP also understood that the TRE’s decision was silent on several questions about metadata and did not duly substantiate such questions in a “necessary and sufficient” way, when such a need was even more pressing, due to the complexity of the case of Tancos, of the seriousness of the crimes in question and social impact”.

Thus, the MP considers that the nullity must be declared and the judgment partially declared null, in the part where it decides on the means of metadata evidence”, and replaced by a new decision.

On February 28, the TRE declared null the judgment of the trial of the Tancos case, which, in January 2022, convicted 11 of the 23 defendants.

On the occasion, the judges of the TRE decided to “declare the nullity of the judgment, due to omission of pronouncement, and determine that the Court of 1st Instance [Santarém] pronounce on the functional and material incompetence of the Criminal Investigating Judge and the violation of the constitutional principle of the natural judge”.

The TRE also understood that, “since the use of proof obtained by metadata is not allowed, it only remains to conclude that the factuality considered as proven” in several points is “irremediably affected and that it must be re-equated, purging itself, in the formation of the conviction of the Court, which may result from evidence obtained through metadata”.

Regarding the use of evidence obtained through metadata, the TRE recalled the judgment handed down by the Constitutional Court, in April 2022, which declared the unconstitutionality of access to data for criminal investigation.

This decision by the TRE resulted from the appeals presented by 20 of the 23 defendants after the judgment of the Court of Santarém on the case of the theft of weapons from the magazines of Tancos.

The trial of the theft and recovery of military material from the National Storerooms of Tancos ended with the perpetrators of the crimes being sentenced to effective imprisonment.

The confessed author of the theft, João Paulino, was sentenced to effective prison terms, with the most serious sentence, and the two men who helped him remove military material from the PNT on the night of June 28, 2017, João Pais and Hugo Santos .

The theft of the weapons was disclosed by the Army on June 29, 2017 with the indication that it had occurred the day before, with the recovery of some material having been carried out in the region of Chamusca, Santarém, in October 2017, in an operation that involved the PJM in collaboration with members of the GNR from Loulé.

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