Evora Court’s decision in the Ellie Silva kidnapping case has astounded those following the case as clear evidence of corruption of a public official simply has been ignored.
This Evora decision was reached after 8 months of investigations under the ‘secret justice’ regime and clearly shows the full extent of the involvement of an employee of the Albufeira public prosecution service who was caught red-handed offering advice on the phone to Filipe Silva.
While Ellie was missing her mother and step-father were driven frantic with worry as the PJ searched the country for the child. Meanwhile a member of staff who was working for the public prosecution service and was close to the case, was feeding information to Filipe Silva - and was caught red-handed doing so.
The Evora hearing also saw evidence of the involvement of Mr. Filipe Silva's Mother, Ana Maria Silva, and of his lawyer, Nuno Remedios of Oporto, neither of whom are yet being investigated as accessories to this crime or any other relating to the kidnapping.
This decision that the employee at the Public Prosecutor’s Office was in no way obstructing justice in the search for Ellie will be appealed at the Supreme Court by Ellie’s mother. Civil and criminal complaints may yet be filed against this employee who was clearly abusing her position as a public servant to help Mr. Filipe Silva evade arrest for the crime of kidnapping a child.
Complaints have already being made to the Secretary of State, the Minister of Justice, Members of the European Parliament and many more will follow over the coming weeks.
Corruption in the public sector is not acceptable and is particularly abhorrent when it involves a state employee prolonging the kidnapping of a child by warning the kidnapper what measures are being taken to find him.
More must be done to ensure that favouritism, nepotism and outright corruption is eradicated in cases that should be centred on the best interests of a child.
Ellie has been ordered by the Faro court to remain in the Dom Pedro hotel in Funchal while her mother seeks life saving medical treatment for her unborn twin brothers, who are due to be delivered in Ireland next week.
Ellie has been living in this hotel room with her Grandmother and Filipe Silva since 11th October 2013. Her father allows Ellie no Skype contact with her mother.
The Faro civil court has set a date in March to hear Mr. Filipe Silva's latest tactic, his application for full custody of his daughter. Silva is unmarried, has no other children, and has failed to pay towards his child’s support since 2011. Silva awaits trial for kidnapping and defamation and has repeatedly disrespected the Faro civil court’s decision on custody and he is not allowed to take Ellie off the Island of Madeira in case he kidnaps her again. Silva is from the Algarve and the case is being heard in Faro. The Ombudsman’s office has recently requested that the Superior Council of Magistrates investigate this case to determine exactly what is going on in Faro with this case.
It is alleged that Ellie has said that during the seven months that she was missing, she did not attend school and was kept in an apartment in Oporto with a man called Alfonso Marques who works for North Sails in Porto. Filipe Silva’s lawyer, Dr. Nuno Remedios, a member of the Portuguese Bar Association, lived in the same apartment block and visited Ellie regularly while the Policia Judiciaria were hunting for her. During the time Ellie was missing she was not allowed to have any Skype contact with her mother.
Ellie has not seen her mother or little sister since October 2013 and is currently confined to a hotel room in Funchal, no sort of life for a little girl. An additional and very real worry is that she will be being subjected to a campaign of parental alienation by her father and her maternal grandmother. Trained psychologists have said that this could have a long lasting, damaging affect on any child.
This is exactly the sort of blatant abuse of power by a public official that the government professes that it wants to eradicate. If it is serious, the appeal will be heard soon and a just result recorded. The courts should protect children and not the interests of those willing to use a corrupt system.