João Araújo: burlesque as a way of practicing law

He had already been noted as a lawyer for some defendants in the FP 25 de Abril lawsuit, but the defense of ex-Prime Minister José Sócrates and the unexpected way he did reserved him a special place in the media circus.

Sick for some time, lawyer João Araújo burst into media life from the moment he became a lawyer for former Prime Minister José Sócrates and did so in a way that many saw as a clear intention to launch a cloud of smoke that cover up the progress of the lawsuits that its constituent had pending in court.

Outside the traditional circuit of the great figures of national law - that restricted group that invariably appears behind the big names that have problems with the Justice as if they were, and are, true bodyguards - João Araújo soon assumed himself as someone who, jokingly most of the time, with grace often, and stepping on the red line of professional advancement a few times, had the function of defending the figure of José Sócrates.

And, his critics say, he did just that: in addition to the technical issues of law, João Araújo managed to a large extent to keep José Sócrates behind a curtain of boutades and jokes, which will have served effectively to keep the process going. in the foam field of days. Somehow, say the analysts, one of the senses of the defense led by João Araújo was to remove Socrates from the front line of the media exposure, transforming the comings and goings to the courts in television moments that had little or nothing to do with the matter under debate in interior of courtrooms.

Detecting this, the Bar Association itself was obliged to intervene: the Council of Ethics of Lisbon decided, in March 2015, to open a process of inquiry to João Araújo about “all the recent public interventions and behavior of lawyers”, read up in a communiqué of the time. “Ascertaining the context and the circumstances in which they occurred, with the ultimate aim of knowing whether the statements and behaviors fall within the legal framework that allows them or whether, on the contrary, they go beyond that framework and constitute, ´ipso facto´, matter for competent disciplinary process ”. Uncomfortable with the matter, João Araújo moved on.

He arrived in Portugal at the age of 18 from Angola, where he was born, but his ancestry is Indian (from one of the most respected castes in the country, the Christian Brahmins) just in time to see the 25th of April 1974 up close, at a time where he had already moved away from the PCP to get closer to the MRPP - the Maoist group where all the anti-regime 'toughs' were.

His first media appearance came with the FP 25 de Abril trial, under which he defended three of the countless defendants who sat on the bench. It was at that time that he 'inaugurated' his disconcerting stance - but in which his friends do not believe. Or rather, they believe, but they know that it is a thoughtful posture with a well-studied purpose. Perhaps it has to do with your way of being, they argue, but there is nothing in what the Bar Association wanted to investigate any inconsequential stance.

Considered a loner, João Araújo never wanted to stop having a hedonistic stance that, he was the first to know, that took years of life. But that is not why he failed to maintain that option of life. Until today.

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