Public Prosecutor’s Office calls for condemnation of PSD’s secretary-general for computer fraud

The Public Prosecutor’s Office asked this Monday for the conviction of the secretary general of the PSD, José Silvano, and of the social-democratic deputy Emília Cerqueira for computer fraud in the so-called case of “phantom presences” in the plenary of the Assembly of the Republic.

In the closing arguments of the trial that took place at the Lisbon Criminal Court, the MP accepted the prosecution’s narrative and asked for the conviction of the two deputies, but without quantifying the penalty measure or sanction to be applied.

Elina Fraga, lawyer for José Silvano, and Paula Lourenço, defender of Emília Cerqueira, asked, in terms of allegations, for the acquittal of their constituents, considering, among other points, that the requirements of the crime of computer forgery, which requires deception, were not met. and falsehood, when Emília Cerqueira authorized access to the computer system with the password and password of the secretary general of the PSD, to register her presence.

“It is absolutely clear that the defendants did not commit the crimes of computer forgery and the accusation’s narration does not understand the objective elements” of computer forgery, emphasized lawyer Paula Lourenço.

According to Paula Lourenço, deputy Emília Cerqueira “did not give directions to anyone, nor did she manipulate computer data, which is quite different from what Article 3 of the cybercrime law provides. What he did was authorize the introduction of José Silvano’s credentials”.

PSD deputy, Emília Cerqueira (Lusa)

Paula Lourenço stressed that the facts contained in the indictment “do not include the crime of computer forgery” and that “if there were any crime it would have to do with illegitimate access”, but what “is described in the indictment is a subspecies of illegitimate access”, but never the crime of computer forgery.

The lawyer thus asked the single trial judge to decide that there was no crime of computer forgery in relation to the facts that occurred in parliament on October 18 and 24, 2018.

Elina Fraga also asked the judge to consider the practice of the crime of computer forgery unproven, countering that the Public Ministry followed the prosecution’s narrative, but did not provide evidence at trial, opting to “sweep the trash under the rug”, to try to that the court did not realize that no evidence of the crime was provided at “no time”.

“It is not possible to prove that José Silvano asked (Emília Cerqueira) to register his presence in the plenary, it is necessary to acquit both defendants”, concluded Elina Fraga.

In the opinion of Elina Fraga, in the closing arguments, the Public Prosecutor’s Office limited itself to reporting what is contained in the accusation, referring to what was said by the witnesses heard at trial and “did not look into the elements of the type” of the crime of computer forgery. , not making any evidence and “hitchhiking” the prosecution to ask for the conviction of the two defendants.

The reading of the sentence was scheduled for February 2 at 14:00.