He wanted to be remembered as the “brave beirão who did the best he could, but was often alone”. He said, moreover, that they could doubt anything “except an honest beirão”.
Pinto Monteiro’s life, especially as Attorney General of the Republic, has always been marked by controversy. Sometimes because of the lawsuits – cases of Freeport, Face Oculta, Submarinos, the destruction of wiretaps of Armando Vara and José Sócrates, Apito Dourado and Noite Branca -, other times because he did not spare his words and one in particular because of the “innocent lunch”, the first “alone”, with Socrates who three days later will be arrested.
“Whatever happens, the engineer José Sócrates never asked me anything about justice”, he would guarantee, at the time already ex-PGR, without hiding that he was “surprised, because he didn’t had ever had lunch with José Sócrates”. At lunch, the hour-and-a-half conversation focused on “his travels” and the book he “had to give me.”
Two years earlier, a week before leaving the post of PGR, which he held from October 9, 2006 to October 12, 2012, during the presentation of a book on his initiative on the public ministry, Pinto Monteiro shaved politicians , journalists and the Syndicate of Magistrates of the Public Ministry with which he had strained relations.
Legal secrecy in Portugal is fraud, there is no legal secrecy at all
On October 4, 2012, and after an interview with RTP, also controversial, Pinto Monteiro said: “Today there is an interference of the executive power in the judicial system, which essentially consists in solving political problems through procedures If how many politicians after April 25 have been prosecuted, which creates currents of opinion fed by certain media, and of which, after thorough investigations, it is concluded that there has been no ‘criminal Offence.”
But he didn’t stop there and went into detail, without reserve, of what he thought of everything and almost everyone. I had no doubts about journalism. It was clear to him that “if a media, followed later by others, says that politician X is guilty, the recourse to justice will bring nothing or very little, because if justice understands that the politician is not guilty, it is because there was pressure, if the investigation does not discover any illicit it is that the Public Prosecutor’s Office is ineffective. The conclusion must be that of the media, even if there is no serious basis for this”.
The Union of Magistrates of the Public Ministry is a simple lobby of personal interests which intends to act as a small political party
And in this analysis, the inefficiency and “lack of cohesion” of the MP had an explanation that was both obvious and implausible: “It borders on the inconceivable that the deputy attorney general himself and the magistrates representing the attorney General of the Republic in the higher courts are appointed by the Superior Council of the Public Ministry (CSMP) Magistrates with ideas contrary to those of the Attorney General of the Republic can be appointed, which could easily prevent the realization of a program that the Attorney General of the Republic intends to follow”.
The problem, in his opinion, was broader and more extensive, with consequences, in the Central Department of Investigation and Criminal Action, at the time headed by Cândida Almeida and, again, the “fault” of the Council superior of the public ministry, which was “a council which tends to be corporative, whatever the value of the members who compose it. In addition, seven of the magistrates are elected by the class, which in practice has meant being elected by the union or with the support of him, who chooses them”.
Of course, there is influence peddling, there is the corruption of coffee and the “having a few euros to make it work”, in a country with the bureaucracy that we have
What didn’t make sense? “As the DCIAP reports directly to the General Prosecutor’s Office and, as the General Prosecutor’s Office is responsible for it, it should have the right to appoint the director, which has not happened, and this appointment is again the responsibility of the CSMP. “, explained that day.
Pinto Monteiro did not even hide that the leadership of the PJ was badly in the hands of politicians. What made sense, he maintained, and would lead to “everything being easier and more transparent”, was “that the director of the judicial police depend on the public prosecutor of the Republic and not on the Minister of justice”.
The man who said of himself, as Attorney General of the Republic, having “the powers of the Queen of England” — in an interview with DN on August 3, 2020 — has been the target of vehement criticism from the Union of Public Prosecutors of Magistrates. , who called Pinto Monteiro’s tenure “the darkest period in the history of democratic public prosecution”.
“There have been very troubled times resulting from the policy of ostensible harassment and shameless attempt to manipulate magistrates and justice by the Socrates government,” labor leader João Palma said in 2015.
The police, if they can, do illegal eavesdropping
Pinto Monteiro, who came to suspect he was being tapped – “I myself have a lot of doubts that I don’t have any phones tapped. I think I have a phone tapped . Sometimes it makes strange noises” -, began his life in justice at the Faculty of Law of the University of Coimbra, he was director of the Center for Judicial Studies and of the Association of Portuguese Judges, he has been judge counselor at the Supreme Court of Justice, deputy high commissioner at the High Authority against Corruption and president of the Justice Council of the Portuguese Football Federation.
The former PGR was born in Porto de Ovelha, in the municipality of Almeida, district of Guarda, but soon moved to Sabugal where he attended primary school and then to Guarda where he completed his secondary education. In 2013 he was decorated, by Cavaco Silva, with the Grand Cross of the Military Order of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Died yesterday. He was 80 years old.