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Newsline: Iraqi diplomat’s sons avoid prosecution in Portugal over alleged horrific beating thanks to diplomatic immunity

Two sons of Iraq’s ambassador to Portugal are set to escape punishment for a brutal attack in which they allegedly drove their car into a 15-year-old boy before beating him to the verge of death, because they have diplomatic immunity. The 17-year-old twins were briefly detained by police in the town of Ponte de Sor, where one of them attends flying lessons, accused of beating a local boy in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The pair fled before rubbish collectors appeared on the scene, finding 15-year-old Rubén Cavaco lying lifeless on the ground, his head beaten to a pulp. Cavaco was airlifted to a hospital in Lisbon almost 100 miles away, where he has undergone surgery to reconstruct his face after suffering multiple fractures. He is currently fighting for his life in a medically induced coma. After Portugal’s Judicial Police received notification of the crime and confirmed the identity of the suspects, the two brothers were released. A spokesman for Portugal’s foreign ministry confirmed that the two teenagers, sons of Iraqi Ambassador Saad Mohammed Ridha, “enjoy diplomatic immunity according to the terms laid out in the Vienna Convention. “This immunity from penal jurisdiction is absolute and can only be renounced by the state represented by the diplomatic mission concerned.”



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