Diplomatic immunity for Iraqis after savage beating angers Portugal

Diplomatic immunity for Iraqis after savage beating angers Portugal
Portuguese police were forced to release the sons of the Iraqi ambassador who are chief suspects in a violent attack due to their diplomatic status, leading Lisbon to threaten consequences.
1 min read
20 August, 2016
The twin sons of the ambassador could be protected by diplomatic immunity [Getty]
Portugal said it may take diplomatic action after the twin sons of the Iraqi ambassador were arrested on suspicion of savagely beating a 15-year-old boy.

The incident happened in the pre-dawn hours Wednesday in Ponte de Sor, central Portugal, following a brawl between local people and pupils at a nearby flight school where one of the twins is enrolled, Portuguese media said.

A source close to the inquiry alleged that 17-year-old twin sons of the Iraqi ambassador in Lisbon, Saad Mohamed Ridha, were arrested but then released because they had diplomatic immunity.

The 15-year-old boy suffered a fractured skull and other extensive injuries and has been placed in an artificial coma, local media said.

There were reports alleging one of the Iraqi twins ran over the boy in his car which had diplomatic plates.

Amid rising anger at the attack, the foreign ministry on Friday said the incident was "a case of great seriousness".

The ministry will take "the necessary and appropriate measures... if the judicial authorities request it", the ministry said, pointing to the brothers' diplomatic immunity.