Commission of inquiry into the twins’ case: Lacerda Sales claimed unavailability and will no longer be heard this Thursday

António Lacerda Sales’ audition at Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CPI) into the case of the twins Portuguese-Brazilians treated with the drug Zolgensma, at Santa Maria Hospital, was postponed until June 18th.

The former Deputy Secretary of State and Health of Marta Temido, head of the PS list in European elections scheduled for this Sunday, informed Parliament of his unavailability, due to professional constraints, for the initial date, which would be this Thursday, at 2 pm. On the new date, a Tuesday, the Portugal-Chéquia game will take place, from Euro 2024.

Chega, which requested (using potestative law, not needing a parliamentary majority to advance) this hearing on the eve of the end of the electoral campaign, will now again seek to anticipate the departure of Lacerda Sales to Parliament, refusing to listen to the former ruler on a day when a football match for the national team is playing. A CPI It is chaired by deputy Rui Paulo Sousa, from Chega.

André Ventura has already reacted to the postponement, considering, before starting a riot in Coimbra, that “there was pressure from the PS and its communications machine, from its management , from its secretariat, to prevent this hearing from happening during the election period.

At issue is treatment considered irregular by several reports and audits, namely by the General Inspection of Health Activities, and involving alleged political favoritism. The two Portuguese-Brazilian twins with spinal muscular atrophy were treated in 2019 with the drug Zolgensma, which cost two million euros per child.

Former Secretary of State António Lacerda Sales


In addition to Lacerda Sales, identified as one of the political leaders who intervened so that the twins could get an appointment at the Santa Maria Hospital, the son of the President of the Republic, Nuno Rebelo, is expected to be called to Parliament de Sousa – who will have influenced the Government and the Presidency to speed up a consultation – but also Marta Temido, former Minister of Health, in addition to Manuel Pizarro, Temido’s successor in the Government, and Ana Paula Martins, current Minister of Health and former president of the hospital center in which Santa Maria Hospital is located.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, in turn, and according to the Legal Regime of the CPI, can refuse to respond, if called, to the parliamentary inquiry. And as Expresso reported in April, This is the intention of the President of the Republic.

As for the former Secretary of State Lacerda Sales, the report from the General Inspection of Health Activities concluded that, as a government official, he met with Nuno Rebelo de Sousa to talk about the case of the twins , something that Lacerda Sales confirmed in an interview with Expresso, at the end of the year. But he assured me then: “I’m sure I didn’t make any appointments, I didn’t make any phone calls, I don’t know any colleagues in the pediatrics service†.

However, according to IGAS, Lacerda Sales “asked his personal secretary to contact Dr. Nuno Rebelo de Sousa by telephone, who wanted an appointment to be scheduled for two children at Santa Maria Hospital†. Following this contact, the Centro Hospitalar Universitário Lisboa Norte was requested, “in accordance with the guidelines of the Secretary of State for Health†, for a consultation of the twins’ countries at the Hospital de Santa Maria .

Last week, to the Observador, and even before the parliamentary hearing was scheduled, Lacerda Sales admitted that he now has “more information†about the case, information that will enable him to – œmake statements regarding this matter” at the CPI or during an investigation at the Public Ministry.

Expresso tried to contact Lacerda Sales, but received no response.


Francesco Giganti

Journalist, social media, blogger and pop culture obsessive in newshubpro

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