The trial against Professor Antonio Loja with former President of the Madeira Government, Alberto João Jardim, who is accused of committing crimes of defamation, injury and abuse of press freedom, is scheduled for February 6, court sources said.
This case has been taking place in the Madeira Judicial Court since February 17, 2016, and the trial was successively adjourned by an appeal filed by Alberto João Jardim's defense.
The case began only 21 years after Jardim resigned as governor and no longer enjoyed parliamentary immunity, considered one of the oldest lawsuits in the Madeira District.
Jardim was charged with criminal defamation, humiliation and abuse of press freedom, allegedly against the historian and activist PS António Fernandes Loja.
The former president of the Madeira Autonomous Region responded to two opinion articles in court – titled "The Grudge Shop" – published in Jornal da Madeira on 23 and 26 November 1994.
"That was a Marxist less than eight days ago, now it is only an interpretation of history"; "So crazy that you don't see your own rudeness and find it in others"; "I'm not the one who left after the persecution after 25/4 [25 de Abril]"; "I have never followed a police officer"; "That thing has gone crazy"; "Ordinarote" and "the little man, reading this, fell three more teeth, two anger and one senility" are some of the expressions and phrases used by the leader of Madeiran at the time, according to the accusation.
The former ruler claimed that the phrase used was used in political debates.
In the process a personal indictment was filed and a civil suit for damage to 600,000 escudos (nearly 3,000 euros) was filed against the Social Democrats.
Alberto João Jardim will be tried by Judge Joana Dias, but Judge Joao Dias submitted an apology to the Lisbon Court of Appeals, alleging that he should not be held responsible as the tenant of the house owned by Alberto João Jardim.
The judge considered that this situation could lead to "distrust" and accepted, in June 2019, Joana Dias's request and the process was forwarded to Judge Elsa Serrão.