Joe Berardo to challenge bail conditions

  • Lusa
  • 23 July 2021

The defence team of Berardo, who was arrested at the end of last month, believes that the coercive measures applied do not meet the legal requirements.

The defence of Joe Berardo will challenge the measures of coercion decided by Judge Carlos Alexandre, including the bail of €5 million, considering that they do not meet the legal requirements, Jornal Económico reported on Friday.

According to the newspaper, the defence team of Berardo, who was arrested at the end of last month, believes that the coercive measures applied do not meet the legal requirements, such as the existence of a danger of flight or obstruction of justice, because Berardo only has Portuguese citizenship and no residence permit in any other country.

“The measures of coercion were applied without fulfilling the legal requirements, which is why the order of application of the measures of coercion will be subject to challenge within the legal deadline,” which ends on August 1, the lawyer for the businessman, Paulo Saragoça da Matta, told Jornal Económico.

Judge Carlos Alexandre demanded bail of €5 million so that Joe Berardo could go free after he was arrested as part of a process that investigates several crimes related to Caixa Geral de Depósitos, with funding of €439 million.

Speaking to Jornal Económico, the lawyer explained that the challenge, which will be filed with the Central Court of Criminal Instruction (TCIC), is mainly because Joe Berardo does not have citizenship or a residence permit in any country other than Portugal, “which will necessarily lead in terms of justice to a total or partial revocation of the coercive measures that were applied to him, namely the bail”.

The court also ordered that his passport be surrendered and that he be prohibited from leaving the country and from having contact with André Luís Gomes, another lawyer.

Berardo’s lawyer also stresses that “without prejudice to any such challenge, the coercive measures are all being complied with because a fair decision by the higher court would always come long after the date of compliance with the measures imposed”.

The deadline for presenting the bond ends today, but Berardo delivered this week a proposal for payment and/or guarantee of the bail.

The newspaper reports that the bond “may take the form of a financial or non-financial guarantee provided by a third party (e.g. an insurance company), or even real guarantees that anyone can provide”.

According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, between 2006 and 2009, Berardo and his companies contracted four loans that caused “a loss of almost a billion euros” to CGD, Novo Banco and BCP.