Putney Woman 's Trial In Portugal Suspended

Her lawyers have questioned the impartiality of the judge


Serena Wylde

Fair Trials International

Putney Woman's Portuguese Trial Starts Today

December 2009 article

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Jago Russell, chief executive of Fair Trials International has confirmed that the trial of Serena Wylde from Putney in Lagos on the Algarve was suspended as her lawyers have queried if the judge presiding over the case is impartial.

Her lawyers application will now be heard at a higher court and if successful her case being heard by another judge.

The lawyer had been acting for Ms Wylde's neighbour in a dispute over a gate built on the businesswoman's property. An amicable solution was reached but Mr de Almeida Borges continued legal proceedings despite being informed of the settlement, Fair Trials said.

According to the Press Association, Ms Wylde complained to the solicitors' regulatory body which then forwarded her letter to the prosecutor's office which began criminal proceedings against her.

Jago Russell, of Fair Trials International, said:
"It beggars belief that Serena Wylde is facing a criminal trial and the threat of months in a foreign jail for making a confidential complaint to a regulatory body. This prosecution flies in the face of free speech and puts those in positions of power beyond reproach."

Mr Pimenta de Almeida Borges is the son of a former Supreme Court judge and belongs to a prominent family in Portugal, Fair Trials said. According to the charity, Mr Pimenta de Almeida Borges told the prosecutor he was "a well-to-do and cultured individual".

He said: "It's difficult to fix a sum to indemnify the offence suffered by one who exercises his profession with such honour, dignity and seriousness." He went on to suggest a payment of 50,000 euro (£42,700).

Ms Wylde, who has a Portuguese husband, inherited the house in Praia da Luz after her parents died.


January 28, 2011