The former BPP administrator Paulo Guichard said this thursday, at the exit of the Custóias chain, in Matosinhos, that “running away is an act of cowardice”, when asked about the departure of the country of the former president of the bank, João Rendeiro.
Overall, running away is an act of cowardice. Facing is an act of courage. That’s what I tried to do“, he told reporters as he left the prison.
The Supreme Court of Justice ordered the release of former BPP administrator Paulo Guichard, in the scope of his defense’s request for ‘habeas corpus’, after being arrested last week at the airport on his arrival in Portugal.
I’ve been in Brazil for twelve years, I evolved a lot as a human being, I want to continue to evolve and that’s what I’m going to do“, he said.
The former administrator also added that “I knew I had a cross to bear on my back” on arrival in Portugal.
“The same way I left today, if it is necessary to re-enter, I will enter with my head held high and with the desire to be a better being,” he added.
The manager also considered that it was “a very big surprise” and was “stunned” by his detention on arrival in Porto last week, but said he respected “the decisions of the authorities” and was ready to assume his responsibilities, “some mistakes he has made and face the future with dignity”.
Paulo Guichard also said that he had handed over his passport to the authorities, also claiming that he did not have a Brazilian passport.
“I think there are weaknesses in several processes in Portugal, and in the BPP process there are weaknesses. These weaknesses have to be assumed by people. Perhaps, as I said recently, what is at stake in terms of penalties is much more than what my conscience tells me,” he added.
Former BPP administrator Paulo Guichard was detained last Thursday at Porto airport from Brazil. Since then, he has been detained in the prison establishment of Custóias, in Matosinhos, in the district of Porto.
On the same day, the defense’s ‘habeas corpus’ petition was filed, considering that the detention is illegal.
According to the request for ‘habeas corpus’, which Lusa had access to last week, during the Banco Privado Português (BPP) case, Guichard “lived in Brazil always with the knowledge of the judicial authorities”, who were “always informed of his whereabouts”.
After meeting the João Rendeiro’s escape (another defendant in the BPP case), and before the order of the judge in charge of the case for Guichard to appear in court, the defense said that the former administrator “decided to return to Portugal” and that he announced it.
The decision of the Supreme Court of Justice, released today, says that in this process “everything is to know when the condemnatory decision of the defendant/applicant of the ‘habeas corpus’ becomes final or unappealable” and that “the final and unappealable decision of criminal decisions convictions only take place when they are no longer subject to ordinary appeal or complaint”, without which “prison is illegal”.
In this specific case, says the Supreme Court, “the claim to the Constitutional Court is still pending”, that is, “the applicant was arrested while serving a sentence, with a claim to the Constitutional Court still pending” regarding an appeal for which not yet decided.
While an appeal or complaint against the criminal conviction is pending, it cannot be considered to have passed”, so the “applicant’s arrest was ordered in the context of a decision that was not yet enforceable“, therefore it is an “illegal arrest”, refer judges Maria do Carlos Silva Dias, Cid Geraldo and António Clemente Lima.
Guichard, 61, of Portuguese nationality and who has lived for several years in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), was sentenced to a single sentence of four years and eight months in prison for six crimes of computer fraud and one crime of falsification of bulletins, minutes or documents.
The collapse of BPP, a bank dedicated to the management of wealth, took place in 2010, after the BPN case and preceding other scandals in Portuguese banking.
The BPP gave rise to several legal proceedings, involving crimes of qualified fraud, document falsification and computer forgery. Among those convicted in processes related to the BPP are former administrators Paulo Guichard, Salvador Fezas Vital, Fernando Lima and João Rendeiro, who fled abroad and whose whereabouts are uncertain.
Guichard, Fezas Vital and Fernando Lima publicly expressed their repudiation of João Rendeiro’s flight from justice.