Portugal: Ex-Labour and Solidarity Minister Paulo José Fernandes Pedroso awaits court judgement

Tomorrow, former Labour and Solidarity Minister Paulo José Fernandes Pedroso, will find out if judges back his human rights complaint against Portugal.

The case concerns a criminal investigation into a paedophile ring and in particular, Fernandes Pedroso’s pre-trial detention between May and October 2003 in the framework of that investigation.

The European Court of Human Rights judgement in the case Fernandes Pedroso v. Portugal (no. 59133/11) will be revealed on 12 June.

The applicant, Paulo José Fernandes Pedroso, is a Portuguese national who was born in 1965 and lives in Lisbon. At the material time he was a Socialist Party MP. He had also been Minister for Labour and Solidarity from March 2001 to April 2002.

Fernandes Pedroso had been suspected of having had sexual relations with minors accommodated in the Casa Pia institution (a public institution responsible for running schools, training centres and boarding schools for children and teenagers from deprived backgrounds).

Subsequently, in May 2004, he benefited from a decision not to commit him for trial, as the investigating authority considered, among other things, that there were serious doubts about the identification of Fernandes Pedroso and that the victims had been wrong on that account.

In November 2005, the court of appeal upheld the decision not to commit him for trial.

Relying on Article 5 §§ 1 and 3 (right to liberty and security of person),  Fernandes Pedroso complains of the unlawfulness of his pre-trial detention and the lack of plausible suspicions and of relevant and sufficient evidence against him.


Relying on Article 5 § 2 (right to be informed promptly of any charge) and Article 5 § 4 (right to a speedy decision by a court on the lawfulness of detention), he also complains about the failure to communicate the reasons for his detention, his lack of access to the investigation file and the length of the proceedings.


Lastly, relying on Article 5 § 5 (right to liberty and security of person), he complains about the domestic courts’ dismissal of his claim for compensation for unlawful detention.

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