The former Minister of Justice, Francisca Van Dunem, considers that the “mediatization of justice” caused the delay in the BES/GES case, which involves Ricardo Salgado, to become “socially unbearable”. “For people it is no longer bearable that these processes do not have an outcome while they have the outcome on the nine o’clock news.”
In an interview with Expresso, Francisca Van Dunem says that there is a “kind of contests” in the media that broadcast “hourly news about justice, because crime sells”: “Of course justice is justice only if those who practice it act criminally. they are condemned. And Justice that is not timely is not Justice. I remember that before leaving the government a national anti-corruption strategy was drawn up.”
Regarding the clashes between judges Ivo Rosa (former head of the BES/GES case) and Carlos Alexandre, the former Minister of Justice regrets that he was lost “a bit of the institutional dimension of things”. “Common sense seems to be lacking,” he fired, stressing that, “in certain cases, it is necessary to have exemplary behavior.” For Francisca Van Dunem, Justice would win if it worked “in an environment of greater serenity, with fewer personalities“.
Francisca Van Dunem did not, however, give a convincing answer to the question of whether there should be fewer selves of Justice, emphasizing that she would like “not so much” a “transfer abroad of what seem to be moods, outbursts untimely reactions. “Justice would win with greater serenity both in the normal activity of the magistrates and in public pronouncements on the causes of justice. This cacophony creates disturbance and uncertainty.”
On another topic, the former minister says she does not have “conditions to say” if there is “a deep problem of corruption in Portugal”, highlighting that there has been “a very positive evolution” by the Public Ministry. “with regard to the fight against corruption in the last 30 years”. In the opinion of Francisca Van Dunem, Portugal came from “a regime in which everything was apparently pure”. There was, defends the former minister, a “blindness in relation to this type of phenomenon and we began to wake up to them. And the more justice acts in this area, the more public perception we have that they exist.”
“My husband lost a fortune. From the economic point of view, my time in government was a tragedy”
Asked about the incompatibility of the husband of Francisca Van Dunem (the jurist Eduardo Paz Ferreira) having accepted government contracts for working with the State, the minister defended that “lines of thought are being created that generate unanimity around positions without attachment to reality”. “He was not undermined by being married to me and it was logical that he continue with the activity. Demanding that he be different meant that he would not accept being a minister, which populists advocate, or he would die in poverty.”
Francisca Van Dunem goes so far as to say that her “husband lost a fortune”: “From an economic point of view, my time in the Government it was a tragedy. Because this populist wave was generated, ‘if he is the minister’s husband, he cannot work for the State’”. The former governor reinforced that a “minister does not win for what he does,” justifying it with the “tremendous public exposure that affects him and his families.” “I felt very honored to have come through government and served the country, but it was heavy morally and financially.”