Duarte Lima, the PSD's former parliamentary leader, is still free despite being convicted of fraud and money laundering in 2014.
Lima’s planned jailing on Tuesday has been delayed as the judge responsible for issuing the arrest warrant is not the same one who sentenced him in 2014.
The new judge ‘does not know the case,’ which was sent to her this Monday by the Lisbon Court of Appeal, so has to acquaint herself with the detail before issuing the necessary paperwork.
According to his lawyer, Duarte Lima has not been served papers to start his three and a half years for the BPN-Homeland case related to the purchase of land in the municipality of Oeiras.
In November 2014, a panel of judges, led by Judge Filipa Valentim, sentenced Lima to ten years in jail as Lima and a partner had deceived BPN bank after asking for a loan of €47 million to buy land where it was expected that the new Portuguese Institute of Oncology would be built.
The businessmen recorded the transactions of the land at a higher value than the price actually paid, and pocketed the difference.
In this way, €17.8 million was illegitimately removed from the bank, part of which was then spent by Duarte Lima on works of art.
During four and a half years of appeals, the accused saw the Lisbon Court of Appeal lower his sentence to six years. As he has already served two and a half years in pre-trial detention - six months of which in prison attached to the Judiciary Police and the remaining time at home with an electronic bracelet - he only has three and a half years to serve.
Judge Filipa Valentim no longer is working in that same court, which is why the other judge, Margarida Alves, will be issuing the arrest warrant for Lima but only after she is familiar with the case.
Thethe reassuring aspect of this situation is that he will be spending three and a half years behind bars, which is where he belongs.