Court acquits Algerians who fled Lisbon airport

The Lisbon Criminal Small Claims Court on Friday acquitted the two Algerians who had fled Humberto Delgado airport two weeks ago and were detained and then sent to Algeria.

The court considered that the testimony of the witnesses and the matter in the case file does not show that the defendants committed the crimes of breach of security of transport and introduction in a place prohibited to the public.

“The court cannot convict these people just because their escape has caused social alarm. Obviously the behaviour is reprehensible, but that is not enough to condemn them for the crimes they are accused of,” the judge said.

Accordingly, the court acquitted Hichem Guellil and Mohamed Mechani of crimes against transport safety and entry to a place that was not forbidden to the public. For the latter, it considered that the criminal proceeding was “extinguished”, since the offended entity (ANA – Airports Did not complain.

The trial took place in the absence of the defendants, with their consent, as they were coercively sent by the Aliens and Borders Service (SEF) to the country of origin.

Before the judge’s decision, the Public Prosecutor had also requested the acquittal of the defendants, as did the defense lawyers of the two Algerians.

The two men fled on January 12 when a group of five Algerians (four men and one woman) boarded a flight bound for Algiers and “managed to transpose the protection network at Lisbon airport,” PSP. The other three were arrested when they tried to flee.

In a verdict handed down orally, admitted to a summary proceeding, the judge considered that, in relation to the charge of introducing the public prosecutor’s office, the Public Prosecutor’s Office “lacked legitimacy” to proceed with the criminal proceeding alone, since it involved a semi- Which depends on the complaint of the offended entity (ANA-VINCI)


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