In Portugal a six year trial – one of the largest in the country’s legal history and known as the Casa Pia trial -is set to reach a conclusion.
Carlos Silvinho has admitted to participating in a network that systematically abused children and implicated six other defendants including Carlos Cruz a popular television presenter who is alleged to have been part of the sex ring at the Casa Pia orphanage. He is joined in the dock by former Unesco ambassador Jorge Ritto.
It is claimed a woman provided her house for meetings with the children and the alleged pedophiles
The court is set to rule on 800 alleged crimes at Casa Pia a 230 year old institution. Not only has the protracted trial produced chilling testimonies it has also resulted in changes in Portugals legal system.
One victim voiced concern that the accused were getting more support than the victims.
“Tomorrow on Friday, I hope justice is delivered, because I think the court has played enough with us, the victims. The accused are getting more support and protection than the we are,” said Pedro Custódio, a former student at Casia Pia
The trial has gripped the country If convicted the accused face jail terms of up to 10 years . Six of the defendants deny the charges and say their lives have been ruined by the allegations.