Six years after a trial began over claims of sex abuse at Lisbon’s Casa Pia children’s home, heavy jail terms have been handed out.
Well-known figures have been found guilty of hundreds of charges related to abuse that goes back to the 1990s.
Driver Carlos Silvino has been jailed for 18 years, having admitted many of the charges against him.
Former television presenter Carlos Cruz has been jailed for seven years, while a former diplomat has also been jailed for six years and eight months. The accused plan to appeal.
“They have committed a huge injustice against me,” said Cruz. “I think they’ve invented a monstrous lie. And I think today a huge judicial mistake has been committed that will forever be in the history of Portuguese justice.”
Three other men, including a doctor, also received jail terms, while a woman was acquitted. Victims groups were in court to hear the outcome of the trial.
A former Casa Pia student and victims’ lawyer, Pedro Namora, said: “For so many years we have been persecuted, threatened. They used everything, and now it comes out that we spoke the truth.”