The Jewish community in Porto has demanded that the Attorney General and the Judicial Police issue public apologies.

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Today, the Jewish Community of Porto (CJP) issued a call to the country’s attorney-general and the national head of the Judicial Police (PJ) demanding that they issue a “public apology” for the manner in which they dealt with the community a little more than a year ago.

In a letter written to Lucilia Gago and Lus Neves, as well as in a statement published to the Lusa news agency, the Jewish-Israeli Community of Porto (CIP/CJP) requested for the participation of both on April 25 at the opening of the Jewish cemetery in Porto, “for a public apology.” This request was made by the Jewish-Israeli Community of Porto (CIP/CJP).

“We want to see you at the ceremony that will officially open the cemetery. Make amends in front of the whole community, or notify those who are now in attendance “that you are attempting to set up another botched case, lost among millions of communications and documents.”

This letter makes reference to search warrants issued by Portuguese authorities during Operation Open Door. These warrants “allowed the invasion of the synagogue (in Porto) as if it were a brothel,” according to the letter.

Some of the phrases contained within the search warrants described “suspicions concerning relations between various societies, the Porto Israeli Community and its leaders, and the relevant Portuguese authorities – knowledge and privileged connections in registry offices, which allowed priority to requests for the acquisition of nationality to Sephardic Jews – in exchange for pecuniary rewards.” However, the community has consistently emphasized that no crimes have been committed, or indignities inflicted upon anyone.

According to a statement that was released today, “The Jewish Community of Porto dissociates itself from any advantageous position in any process in which its name is involved, reiterating that the accusations that have been presented are false.”

This dispute started in March 2022 when an inquiry was begun investigating the awarding of Portuguese nationality to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich on the grounds of the Sephardic statute.

The police in PJ have begun an operation that they have named “Open Door.” They have described the suspected illegal activities that are at play, which include influence peddling, active corruption, document forgery, money laundering, qualified tax fraud, and criminal association.

Both the Rabbi of Porto, Daniel Litvak, and the lawyer Francisco de Almeida Garrett, who is also a member of the CIP/CJP board, were taken into custody.

Since then, there has been no forward movement at all. On the contrary, an appeals court has decided that there was no basis for the case, and it was dismissed.

This is the source of the uneasiness felt by the CIP/CJP, which just wishes to have its name cleared up once and for all.

A letter from the CIP and CJP was addressed to President Marcelo last month, requesting that he come out with “an apology from the Portuguese State for the harm and damage caused,” which the letter characterized as being “irrecoverable and never compensable.”

The majority of community members are Portuguese; yet, according to the Resident’s understanding, President Marcelo sent the letter to the government or the ministry for foreign affairs. This action astonished the community due to the fact that the majority of community members are not foreigners.

Portuguese citizenship sephardic Law No. 1/2013 DL n. 30-A/2015

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