The Public Prosecution Service in Leiria has accused twelve people named in the report into the Pedrógão Grande fire last July which also tore through Castanheira de Pera, Figueiró dos Vinhos, Alvaiázere and Ansião.
The defendants stand accused, variously, of negligence and negligent homicide.
Three of the defendants held command and coordination positions within the Civil Protection service; three were senior officials of the company responsible for maintaining the EN 236-1 on which many people died, two are senior managers at EDP, three were councilors in those municipalities where the deaths occurred and one was a Council employee.
The two commanders have been named as Sérgio Gomes and Mário Cerol who were working at the Leiria District Relief Operations Centre during the July fire.
The head of the Public Prosecution Service magistrates’ union said that today's announcement of the defendants and charges is an example of completing a complex inquiry in good time, within a year.
The 212-page indictment points the finger at three mayors: the current mayor of Figueiró dos Vinhos, Jorge Abreu; the former vice-president of Pedrógão Grande, José Graça; and the former president of the municipality of Castanheira de Pêra, Fernando Lopes.
One engineer stands accused, Margarida Gonçalves from the Forestry Office of Pedrógão Grande.
Top ranking fire service managers are in the frame. Sérgio Gomes and the second-in-command, Mario Cerol both face serious charges.
The list includes the commander of the Pedrógão Grande fire service, Augusto Arnaut.
Three senior EDP managers are indicted. EDP was responsible for the overhead electricity cables near the site where the fire began. The deputy director of EDP’s commercial arm, José Geria, and the deputy director of the maintenance for the central area, Casimiro Pedro both face charges relating to the company's failure to keep trees cut back.
The Operation and Maintenance chief from Ascendi, the company that was meant to be maintaining the EN 236-1 road where 30 people died, is named as are two Ascendi officials, António Berardinelli and Rogério Mota. The harrowing pictures of the aftermath of the fires showed that eucalyptus trees has been planted right up to the roadside, a situation that has been ignored by Ascendi despite this being illegal.