The Jewish Community of Oporto lodged a criminal complaint with the Prosecutor General’s Office

The Jewish Community of Oporto lodged a criminal complaint with the Prosecutor General’s Office

Announcement published on Friday 4 March 2022 on the organization's official page:

"The Jewish Community of Oporto lodged a criminal complaint with the Prosecutor General’s Office to investigate the crimes of False Accusation (Article 365 of the Penal Code) and Journalistic Corruption (Articles 8 and 9 of Act 20/2008 of 21 April and 373 and 374 of the Penal Code).


1) Between April and June 2020, the Portuguese Jewish community as a whole and the Jewish Community of Oporto, in particular, were targeted by a libel campaign aimed at denigrating the Nationality Act in the part where it grants nationality to the descendants of Sephardic Jews. All the positive effects of that act were deliberately concealed.

2) In October 2020, the Jewish Community of Oporto informed the Government and wrote on its website that the only things these denigrators had forgotten to do was to (create and) send some anonymous accusations to the Prosecutor General’s Office and after to the newspapers, to spread the idea in public opinion that serious crimes had been committed involving the sale of Portuguese nationality.

3) On 6 December 2021, the community addressed H.E. the Justice Minister, explaining that there was every justification for the existence of a digital platform to monitor the certification process by the Registry Office in real time.

The following reasons were given:

  • In Portugal there are many anonymous false accusations leading to investigations that are then written up in the newspapers, destroying the good name of people and institutions. Even the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Portuguese Intelligence System complained of a “Dreyfus case” that originated in an anonymous accusation that was published in the media, stating that the members of said board had breached legal confidentiality, were corrupt and peddled influence, thus launching intolerable suspicion on the integrity of the members of a board that must be above all suspicion to enable them to perform their duties to their fullest extent (Expresso newspaper, 6.11.2020).
  • The former President of the Supreme Court of Justice declared that an enormous lawsuit – known as the “Golden Visas Lawsuit” – exemplified “manipulation of the criminal investigation, used as a disguised weapon to influence, restrict or reverse society’s political tendencies in ways that are best suited to those using them or those taking advantage of them.” (Público newspaper, 22.10.2020).
  • In Lvov, Jarkov, Tshernovitz, Bobruisk, Smolensk and hundreds of other cities in the Soviet Union, the synagogues and communities were not all closed at the same time, but one by one, always in the same way: (i) use of the press and of slanderers to associate synagogues with businesses, (ii) description of such businesses as being amoral or illegal, (iii) negative reactions from some public opinion and straw Jews, and (iv) total destruction of the synagogues' respectability and the Jewish organisations as promoters of Jewish life and Jewish culture.

4) In December 2021 and January and February 2022, anonymous accusations against the Jewish Community of Oporto were made to the Prosecutor General’s Office, raising doubts about the honesty of the certification process carried out by the local Rabbinate. These anonymous accusations were made known to some media for widespread dissemination, in order to make the general public believe that these were crimes under investigation. There are an apparent trafficking of undue favours and advantages with the “sources” of the news.

5) Given that the Jewish Community of Oporto, through its Rabbinate, whom it trusts completely, has been working for seven years on the Sephardic certification process, with no suspicions being raised with regard to any of the processes, and bearing in mind that every process complied with all legal requirements, being filed for consultation by the authorities, all these anonymous accusations and everything known about them shall be on display at the Jewish Museum of Oporto as from 31 March 2022 for schools and tourists to view."