The Union of Public Prosecution Service Magistrates (SMMP) defended today the suspension of all diligences and judgments during the state of emergency, with only urgent procedural acts taking place, in a regime similar to that of last spring.
“In view of the current state of the pandemic [of covid-19], it does not make sense to continue to mobilize thousands of people to go to the courts or the services of the MP, in order to carry out due diligences or judgments. There are courts with atriums and judgment rooms full of people, without the conditions of disinfection, distance and ventilation of the spaces being ensured. In almost all courts, the temperature at the entrance is not even measured. It is necessary for the Government to take urgent measures ”, says the SMMP, in a statement.
In the SMMP's view, the recent numbers of SARS-COV-2 infections and the exponential increase in covid patients 19 are “extremely worrying and require immediate measures”, especially since in Portugal “the degree of contagion is now among the highest in the world. world".
“Measures must be taken quickly, otherwise we will be heading for catastrophe. As experts understand, only with a more rigorous confinement is it possible to reverse the escalation of the pandemic in the country. We will not be able to stop the chains of contagion if we continue to make the same life that we had before. It is necessary to reduce the activity to a minimum, until the response of the National Health Service stabilizes ”, adds the SMMP, chaired by António Ventinhas.
The union reveals that on a daily basis it is aware of "an increasing number of magistrates and court officials infected" by the new coronavirus.
“The images of overcrowded hospitals and the number of daily deaths are extremely worrying signs. In view of the current state of the pandemic, it does not make sense to continue to mobilize thousands of people to go to the courts or to the services of the MP ”, insists the SMMP, reason why he argues that“ all due diligence and judgments should be suspended for the period in which last the state of emergency ”, with only urgent actions taking place, similar to what happened in the first wave of the pandemic
The SMMP warns, however, that “the extended possibility of using remote means of communication to carry out due diligence was not even foreseen in the current regulatory framework,” recalling that the Government “did not listen to the bodies representing the judiciary and officials” about the matter.
“What was demonstrated after the stop in March is that the courts (judicial magistrates and prosecutors and officials) were able after the reopening to make the necessary efforts to recover the proceedings that were suspended. The health and life of citizens is more important than the annual statistics of Justice ”, concludes the SMMP board.
In Portugal, 9.465 people have already died from 581.605 confirmed cases of infection, according to the most recent bulletin from the Directorate-General for Health.
The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China.