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Attorney General

November 26, 2007

Letter to Dr. Pinto Monteiro, Judge of the Supreme Court

I, through this mean, want to request you to grant me a private meeting. And to justify this request, I believe that it is essential to make a summary of all the facts occurred until now.

Long time ago, that is in the year of 1997, openly, without hiding my identity, I presented to the general public, the immoral and illegal “procedures and actions” that were well known throughout the Portuguese society and media, but were, as well, not a target to the investigators because nobody wanted to make them public. On the 4th of September of 1997, after a conference with the “Diário de Notícias” on this subject, I naturally expected that the Ministério Público (MP) – Portuguese Indictment Dept. – would act accordingly, because that would be the only naturally way to follow. To my surprise, and against all my expectations, the MP did not react, in spite of the enormous public impact of such serious information that provoked reactions in the Ordem dos Médicos (Doctors National Guild), the Health Ministry, the National Assembly and in the general media, which reflected a high anger among the people, in general, and also in specific forums.

To my surprise, also, the only official department to contact me was the “Inspecção Geral de Saude” (General Health Inspection Dept.), a state department depending of the “Health Ministry”, unknown to me. I gladly and free willingly responded to the invitation of a sub-inspector-general to give them any explanations requested, and those lasted for almost 14 hours.

The MP, however, remained silent. No reaction at all. In view of such passivity I decided to send them all the possible documentation that supported my allegations. At that time I tried, together with my lawyer, Dr. Antonio Garcia Pereira, to deliver this documentation in the Procuradoria-Geral da República, in spite of several constraints. Finally I succeeded to be received, after three weeks and many public statements (and this after declaring to the general media that this documentation would be delivered to one public police station of the PSP – Public police).

Only then my lawyer received the expected “invitation”, that I naively thought would be a logical result of such allegations. We had, my lawyer and I, a conference Dra. Teresa Almeida, at the time chief of the cabinet of the General Attorney and myself. During this meeting Dra. Teresa Almeida used some “post-it” to mark some pages of the documents presented, and gave me the impression that the MP effectively, and after the initial inertia, was interested in such matter, interest which I thought should deserve total legal and moral interest.

After this meeting I never received any other news about this process, but I was confident that the investigation would continue its way, with all the possible actions, that were unknown to me due to the so-called “justice secrecy”. During this period I had several meetings with the Health Minister, Dra. Maria de Belém Roseira, but no other contact occurred with the person/s in charge of the investigation.

This happened during weeks until The Director of the Police Department of Combat against Corruption (PJ) contacted my lawyer, inquiring about my disponibility to make any declarations on this subject. I assured my wish to contribute immediately and free willing to help, in this task, those that the State defined and gave power to perform Justice.

I entered in the Police with open spirit and hope, but finished this meeting full of indignation. To my surprise I verified that all the documentation I have delivered to the MP had no further evolution, whatsoever. The “post-it” of Dra. Teresa Almeida was untouched and the person who inquired me showed perfect lack o knowledge of the documents or the real contents of those papers, which proved his total ignorance of the subject under discussion.

To my astonishment and indignation, I entered that meeting as a reliable witness, and I was informed, a posteriori, that I would be accused/suspect (constituido arguido) – the first and only accused for a long, long time!!! That means that I entered as a witness and went out as the main suspect, and this happened without any possible and reasonable argument or justification.

With this procedure, that, at the time I did not understand, but it seems to me, today, it has been strategical, the MP started to reveal something worse than passivity in connection with this process. From that moment on the witness proof was purely eliminated. And worse than that, it was given a signal to those who, at that time, wanted to cooperate and denounce similar facts. It was very easy for the big pharmaceutical companies to inspire with fear their co-workers: “if you denounce any mal practice, we follow the usual way and you will be accused, as it happened with the Pequito”.

Mr Attorney General, The MP removed me as a witness and did not get other or others witness/es to prove the facts under investigation (today I dare to say: it did not try and even succeeded this goal).

But the absurd happenings did not stop here. My allegations did not originate any process. They were fantastically joined to a process already existent, Process Nº 84884/95, that was a “dead born”, with the announced and inexorable final destination to the archives of all historic cases. Anonymous persons, protected by “distorted voice”, (normally used by the media) started that process due to the public declarations in reporting news of the R.T.P. (1995). And this process was started mainly due to a strong claim made that the affected Ordem dos Médicos did not accept, in 1995, to listen in the public TV that there were doctors who accepted “favours” given by the pharmaceutical industry, that is, they let themselves to be corrupted.

This “embryo” process was definitely condemned to death, because in two years nothing was proved, or better, the authorities could not or did not want to get proofs. With my public allegations, this case won a new life. But the investigation was delivered to Mr. Correia Poças, one only agent, who unfortunately and allegedly, committed suicide. Afterwards the Inspector Carlos Anjos continued it, and time continued to run without any stop.

It is obvious, Mr. Attorney General, that the pharmaceutical industry did not remain indifferent, waiting to be visited or questioned. It was far way much more fast. They had time enough to get rid of all the possible documents that could possible involve them in a formal accusation. The time elapsed was such, that Bayer and other firms indicted in the media (not by the MP, but in the newspapers, which published more documents with anonymous origins) promoted the strategically movement of their responsible members, transferring them to South America. These spectacular transferences were duly announced in the media and I keep such records.

In 1999, two years after my declarations, the MP continued to “investigate”. That means, it continued to do nothing, and this inertia had no public repercussion, possibly due to the “justice secret”. It was at that time that the DGS (Health General Inspection) made public their report about this case.

The document confirmed my allegations, presenting, hundreds of concrete cases of corruption of doctors, which originated some disciplinarily processes. The Inspector General de Saude (General Health Inspector), himself an Adjunct of the Attorney General, Dr. Armando Moreira Rodrigues sent this report to the MP, because it contained sufficient and evident criminal material.

However, and after this report, what the MP did? Practically nothing. The procedure followed reminds me other process “Apito Dourado”, whose investigation and concentration were ordered by you. Years of investigation resulted in the issue of certificates to the different jurisdictions in the country. Those certificates contained only basic elements supplied by the initial documentation. Though one may conclude, nothing was added, nothing was effectively investigated.

From those hundreds of certificates almost no results were achieved. In one of the few autonomous processes, which came to trial, the MP did not present documental proof, besides that I had supplied, and enrolled as prosecution witness the DIM (Delegado de Informação Médica) who made the payments, in current money, as well as the supervisor and Marketing Director, that approved such practices of corruption in the pharmaceutical company involved. I question whether a defence lawyer could do better?

The problem, Mr. Attorney General, is that this incapacity and inability of the MP to pursue the crime, does not mean that the same does not exist. The IGS, in their report, refer that Bayer dedicated 10% of their main annual invoice value to the purchase of doctor’s prescriptions, and that value corresponded, at that time, to 400.000.000$00 (escudos)/year (now € 2.000.000.00). This same information was confirmed in court by Mr. Giovanni Fenu (Member of the Board of Bayer, at the date of the facts). There were doctors who confessed this in the media. There were cheques published in the newspapers. There were, even years later, a cruise of doctors in the Mediterranean cancelled on the eve of the departure, because it was announced in the TV that this event was paid by a pharmaceutical company (TVI). Almost the few doctors who were indicted for trial submitted to injunctions, assuming individually, guilt much more generalized.

The actual “justice” could deserve more comments on my side, but I would rather mention those involved in it. In the past month of November, Dr. Rosário Teixeira, Adjunct of the Attorney General of the D.C.I.A.P. revealed before a Judge ( in a trial where I was accused by Bayer and with the promotion of the MP), a very elucidative version of the facts. This Gentleman declared, that after my statements about corruption, the MP was confronted with 10.000 (ten thousand) cases of corruption involving the process of Bayer. Under the terms of the statement made in court, the process was “ingerivel” (impossible to ingest, literally). He explained that, after several meetings, in Portugal, and with European Authorities (“instâncias comunitárias”), the MP decided to reduce the 10 thousand cases to some hundreds. Making a serious examination, I ask myself which were the criteria used? How can we reduce the number of accused, the number of crimes or the weight of the same, in a “meeting”? Which are the legal foundations? Under which constitutional powers? Or are there any others?

The Bayer case, the corruption case of medical prescriptions that every Portuguese knows as a real and veridical fact, finished and vanished from the Portuguese juridical system with a clamorous and unexplained dispatch to send it to the archives by the MP, as whole, and dispersed in the several juridical districts of this country, so that the impact of this fact would be decreased.

As far as I am concerned, as well as all the other citizens who are, every day, object of medical prescriptions without a real medical criteria, they know that such actions are punishable by the Penal Code, as a crime of corruption. How do they evaluate the course of justice implemented by the MP, to whom the State granted full and exclusive powers to persecute the crime?

It seems, however, that the MP (Ministério Público) or some of their Magistrates have a clear hostility or even bad faith towards the undersigned. A good example of what I say now, it is connected with the action promoted in the 12th section of the D.I.A.P, by the Procurator, Dra. Fernanda Pego, where my lawyer and I lodge a complaint threats, which almost led to promote me to accused (arguido).

This subject was even material of the 1st pages in some newspapers, with false news based on existing phrases in the process. Those news caused serious personal, familiar and other damages, of which I do not, and nobody, know the real extension. In short, it was simply a terrible, civic and character assassination. I would like to inform you Mr. Attorney General that, in connection with this ridiculous process, there are at least 4 (four) dispatch to send to the archives. I can, with clean conscience, affirm that I was a victim of a ferocious and unexplained persecution. All this situation obliges me to a profound meditation whether I am living in a Law and Democratic State. All these subjects that I described, as short as possible, or others that I will describe “a posteriori” provoked a natural reaction in my lawyer, who admitted on the 1st of December, in the TVI, that he would initiate a juridical cause against the Portuguese State, as well as complaints in the European Community Entities, based on this same subject.

Another subject that I would like to submit to you, personally, is the so-called clinical experimental tests promoted by Bayer. In the alleged tests, the law was not duly respected. There are clinical experiments where cases of mortality and morbidity exist, a theme of the utmost importance. These experiments, alleged do not have judgements of the Ethical Health Commissions, do not have the precaution of previous clarification of the individuals submitted to them, or even their consent; requests to make experiments without a signature of the person or persons responsible (investigators); no notification of possible adverse reactions. I am aware that these matters have not the same impact as those involving football, referees or sport directors, a consequently there will be not nomination of magistrates to deal with theses themes.

And I finish Mr. Attorney General with the firm conviction that you will decide to grant me an audience.

With my best regards.

Alfredo Pequito