Assailant Shoots Terror Suspect Turned Prosecution Witness
LISBON, Portugal (AP) _ Police said an assailant shot and seriously wounded a suspected left-wing terrorist today, two days before he was due to appear as a prosecution witness in a trial of more than 70 alleged members of an urban terror group.
The gunman hit 34-year-old Jose Rosa Barrada with seven or eight shots from a machine-pistol as Rosa Barrada drove up to his home south of the capital early today, police said.
Police said the attacker pulled his car out in front of Rosa Barradas as he drove up to his home at Costa de Caparica, a costal resort outside Lisbon, fired a burst of shots, and sped away.
Rosa Barrada was rushed to Lisbon’s San Jose Hospital. A hospital spokesman, who refused to give his name, said Rosa Barrada was in critical condition.
He was due to appear as a witness for the prosecution in the trial of 74 alleged members of the April 25 Popular Forces, or PF-25, a leftist group that takes its name from the 1974 armed forces revolution that ended 48 years of right-wing rule.
The trial opens Monday in a specially built, fortified courthouse with bullet-proof glass partititons separating at least three of the accused. They are expected to give evidence for the prosecution against their alleged accomplices.
Lt. Otelo Saraiva de Caravalho, the military strategist of the 1974 coup, is the chief defendant in the trial. He was arrested along with more than 40 others in a nationwide sweep last June, and is being held in a military jail outside Lisbon.
An anonymous caller telephoned a Portuguese news agency today and said ″one of the FP-25 state’s evidence witnesses has been hit with seven bullets.″
Rosa Barradas was arrested in February 1983 on suspicion of involvement in bomb attacks by the leftist group. Published reports said he was released on bail a year later after agreeing to give evidence for the prosecution in the hope of getting a more lenient sentence. He reportedly has been under police protection.
FP-25 has carried out a series of bombings, shootings and bank robberies since 1980 that have left six people dead.