LISBON, Portugal — A court on Monday sentenced three Portuguese immigration inspectors to between nine and seven years in prison for the killing of a Ukrainian immigrant who was in custody at Lisbon airport.
The three inspectors were convicted of grievous bodily harm, which a former senior immigration official said amounted to torture, leading to the 40-year-old man’s death during interrogation. Two of the men received nine-year prison sentences and another got seven years.
The Lisbon court found that the inspectors kicked and beat the handcuffed man with batons, breaking his ribs and causing death by asphyxiation.
The man, Ihor Homeniuk, had tried to enter Portugal without a valid visa in March 2020 and was detained after refusing to board a flight back out of the country.
The Portuguese government last year paid more than 700,000 euros ($850,000) in compensation to Homeniuk’s wife and two children, who live in Ukraine.
The case caused a scandal and brought the resignation of the head of Portugal’s immigration service. It also hastened a planned restructuring of the service.