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Benfica, Vieira and Soares de Oliveira seek instructions and refute offenses in the ‘blue bag’ case – Benfica

Benfica, Vieira and Soares de Oliveira seek instructions and refute offenses in the ‘blue bag’ case – Benfica

According to the request to open the investigation with these defendants, the accusation of the deputy does not provide evidence and is based on “an inconsistent, illogical, contradictory in essence and useless story.”

• Photo: Paolo Calado

Benfica’s SAD, Benfica studio, demanded former president Luis Felipe Vieira, official Domingos Soares de Oliveira and former manager Miguel Moreira to open an investigation into Operation “Blue Bag”, refuting all the crimes.

According to these defendants’ Request for an Open Investigation (RAI), which Lusa had access to, the MP’s prosecution does not present evidence and is based on an “inconsistent, inconsequential, fundamentally contradictory and improbable” story, which confirms the “six long years” of The process and the absence of evidence indicating the presence of a “blue bag”, therefore, the defense of the defendants requests not to pronounce their verdict.

“It is artificial and useless to wait for the court session to highlight evidence already in the case file,” reads the RAI, which adds: “In light of the evidence gathered in the current case file, there is no reasonable possibility or possibility that the applicants will be judged.” , in the face of it and for their cause, with a penalty.”

The deputy’s indictment, from February this year, charges the former Luz club president with three counts of qualifying tax fraud and 19 counts of forging documents, as well as Domingos Soares de Oliveira – who remained at Benfica SAD after Vieira’s departure from. Presidency (2021) – and former CFO of Benfica Miguel Moreira. These crimes are attributed jointly to the company QuestãoFlexível and the defendant José Bernardes, who headed this company.

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Benfica’s SAD has been charged with two counts of tax fraud, with the MP also charging Benfica Estádio with one count of tax fraud and 19 counts of falsifying documents.

For the defense of these accused, the MP’s thesis requires three aspects: that the services rendered were simulated, that the money was returned to Benfica in cash, and that this would be used for purposes which might lead to its concealment or concealment, in wrongful behaviour.

However, a judicial police report from August 2022 was cited, which acknowledged that “it was not possible to determine the circumstances in which the said sums were returned to the Benfica group, nor to whom they were actually delivered and what their final destination was”.

Given that the blue bag thesis “did not fall on deaf ears”, the lawyers also point out that the services rendered to the “incarnated” companies were real – not simulated – and that evidence of intent to defraud the tax authorities was lacking: “It does not make sense for someone to pay , and thus lose, nearly two million for allegedly non-existent services for a tax advantage (only) about half a million, or something like that.”

RAI also objects to the existence of the alleged criminal plan engineered by Luis Felipe Vieira to extract money from Benfica’s accounts in the form of payments to return them in cash, by contracting QuestãoFlexível’s consulting services and IT assistance and that the deputy has understood to be fictitious.

“The deputy does not want to spoil a good story with the truth,” the defense asserts, emphasizing that it would be logical for the cash withdrawal to take place only after payments from the “incarnated” companies, but this did not happen, stressing further that the wiretapping that was conducted did not refer to No evidence of the alleged criminal plan.

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Arguing that Vieira and Soares de Oliveira do not have objective criminal responsibility, because they “were not in charge of accounting, not related to suppliers, and had no control over payments or receipts”, the defense stated that the accusation was based on a “generalization without any basis of facts”. Similar reasoning was applied to Miguel Moreira, when he stressed that, since the services rendered were genuine, the facts imputed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office lacked criminal significance.

In this sense, the defense challenges the crimes of fraud and forgery, stressing in the first crime that the elements necessary to prove it were not filled out and that there was no intent, as for the second crime, its elements were not fulfilled. or that, at the limit, it must be one continuous offense and not 19 offenses.

The defense, which has requested the cross-examination of 14 witnesses for this optional procedural phase aimed at verifying whether the evidence is strong enough to lead the defendants to trial, summarizes.

Finally, the lawyers invoke a possible pause in the proceedings, because they consider that the criteria for applying this procedural mechanism are met, without prejudice to the decision not to speak which they defend as inevitable.

by Lusa


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