Former banker Rendeiro proposes €2,000 as bail

  • Lusa
  • 15 December 2021

The amount was proposed by lawyer Sean Kelly when defending the request for freedom on bail in court, where João Rendeiro is present.

The defence of former banker João Rendeiro proposed on Wednesday in court a bail bond of 40,000 rands (€2,187) when defending the request for freedom on bail.

The amount was proposed by lawyer Sean Kelly when defending the request for freedom on bail in court, where João Rendeiro is present.

Naveen Sewparsat, prosecutor of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the South African public prosecutor, said that the request for bail should be denied for the sake of justice.

Rendeiro wants to return to his home in the Sandton area of Johannesburg and is willing to report to police every day and be monitored, according to his lawyer.

The defence challenged the two South African arrest warrants against João Rendeiro, claiming they did not respect the law and said the former banker was the victim of a sensationalist campaign, a “witch hunt”, and “unconstitutional actions” by Portugal.

“There is an agenda to hold him responsible for the collapse of the BPP bank,” which he rejects, said lawyer Sean Kelly.

Rendeiro also rejected the idea that he was a wealthy man: “nothing could be more wrong,” his lawyer noted, saying that most of his assets were frozen by the Portuguese authorities, and he was left with few resources.

He claimed to have no unfinished business with the Portuguese justice system – the lawyer even has a document from the Portuguese authorities certifying this – and plans to enjoy retirement time in South Africa, where he wants to make investments.

The former BPP chairman also rejected the use of technology to encrypt communications in the interview with CNN Portugal, saying he used only the ‘software’ of his iPad and a VPN (private network) connection programme that can be purchased from $12 a month.

He also claimed that there were flaws in the documentation, authentications, and the comparison between Portugal and South Africa crimes.

João Rendeiro also complained of other irregularities – for example, two ipads and three mobile phones were seized without a warrant when he was arrested in Durban.

The presentation was interrupted after 15 minutes due to a power failure in the courtroom.

Earlier, several other problems had delayed the session – which was scheduled to start at 09:00 and only began at 12:30.

There was no electricity in the first building of the Verulam court, there was a move to the family court facilities, but here there were no rooms, and when there were, there were glitches in the computer system – “digital recording is necessary because it is an international case”, explained an official.

Naveen Sewparsat, a prosecutor with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), South Africa’s public prosecution service, resumed when the electricity returned and refuted the former banker’s allegations.

After reviewing all the proceedings in Portugal, including the convictions, he said the request for freedom on bail should be denied for the sake of justice because Rendeiro wants to avoid answering what he has to face in Portugal.

On the other hand, he claimed that according to the CNN Portugal interview, Rendeiro might have “suicidal tendencies”.

The prosecutor also used the interview to demonstrate how João Rendeiro does not want to return to Portugal.

For him, it may be easy to “cross borders”, he said, reiterating that he may have access to large sums of money – in fact, he stressed that he was arrested with a lot of cash.

He also indicated that Interpol already knew that he had two passports in his name and had a third when he was arrested.

“I share the view of the Portuguese authorities. There is a strong possibility of escape,” the prosecutor summarised.

The prosecutor’s information about Rendeiro’s passports prompted his defence lawyer to ask for a recess to meet, a stop granted by the judge, after which the hearing will continue.