Jardim is appealing against the acquittal of Eduardo Welsh in the Hitler photomontage case. The image was created to denounce an extremely violent speech, made by the President, in which he stated that his opponents wanted to install a fascist regime and incited the people to violence against them. None of Jardim’s friends and collaborators were able to interpret the speech and none understood what was meant by his call to use violence. The testimonies of his friends are very revealing. Below is the transcript of the President’s Chief of Staff, Luis Dantas.
Lawyer - There's this speech: 'those people are back again through the boys of the new generation, wanting to return to the time of fascism, wanting to return to the time when those who produced sugar cane were exploited and mistreated at the gates of the Hinton factory. The opposition is hypocritical; the communists are in bed with the fascists and the socialists.' I would like to ask you, who is the opposition which is made up of communists and fascists and socialists in league with the fascists? Who is this speech referring to?
Witness - Sorry? Sorry?
Lawyer - This speech is directed at someone, do you know the speech? Who could have made this speech?
Witness - I don't know the speech, I know some isolated phrases of it, but the speech itself I don't know ...
Lawyer - But who made it, who is the author of this speech?
Witness - I don't know. There are so many people that...
Lawyer - You can't guess who it may be?
Witness - No, I can't guess, I don't know who it is.
Lawyer - If I told you it was Dr. Alberto João Jardim, would you be surprised?
Witness - I mean, I know Dr. Alberto João Jardim well, Its natural that he would have said this but I can't say ...
Lawyer - Would you be surprised if I said this speech was Dr. Jardim's?
Witness - No
Lawyer - No, of course not
Witness - But also… after all the long years that I'm there, I have an obligation to recognize Mr. President's style.
Lawyer - This speech is in fact Dr. Jardim's, it was made recently, on the 11th November 2008. My question is, who were the people that Dr. Alberto João Jardim was referring to in this speech? I'll put you at ease here, none of the witnesses who are friends of Dr. Jardim, not one, was able to fathom who he was talking about in these phrases.
Witness - I don't know who its aimed at.
Lawyer - Does Dr. Jardim speak so elliptically that no one understands who he is talking about… Who he is aiming at?
Witness - Don't know, no idea.
Lawyer - Who are the fascists who are in league with the communists and the socialists who are in league with the fascists?
Witness - Its abstract, he's not saying its this one or that one. Its abstract, that's what he's saying. Now I can't say if its A or B or C.
Lawyer - Might you at least have an idea of who it might be?
Witness - No idea.
Lawyer - Look at the front page title of the Jornal "Jardim alerts to the return of fascism!".
Witness - You'll have to ask Mr. President what that means, its no me …
Lawyer - But who is it…you're listening to this, who's going to 'wear this hat'?
Witness - Those who don't abide by the rules of democracy, I think.
Lawyer - Who?
Witness - Those who don't abide by the rules of democracy, it must be aimed at those people who don't abide by the rules of democracy, nothing else.
Lawyer - But who are those people who don't abide by the rules of democracy?
Witness - I don't know.
Lawyer - According to Dr. Jardim's ideas?
Witness - I'm sorry I can't specify who they are. I don't know.
Lawyer - Does this reference to Hinton give any clues? 'The people who were mistreated at the gates of Hinton'. The new generations, the fascists of the new generations?
Witness - I don't know, I've not a clue who they are. You'll have to ask Mr. President who it is, not me .
Lawyer - He said he wasn't talking about anyone in particular.
Witness - There you go, you see.
Lawyer - But do you find it normal that such an abstract speech, that's not aimed at anybody, makes the frontage headlines "Jardim alerts to the return of fascists". Do you find it normal?
Judge - The witness has already directly answered you questions as to who this speech was aimed at.
Lawyer -You are familiar with Dr Jardim's personality, has he ever called any rival a fascist?
Witness - Sorry? .
Lawyer - Has Dr. Jardim ever, do you recall him ever calling any opponent a fascist?
Witness - I don't know, he sometimes says that.
Lawyer - Or national-socialist?
Witness - Yes, I've heard him say, him call...
Lawyer - National fascist and national-socialist?
Witness - Not that one.
Lawyer - You don't remember?
Witness - Não.
Lawyer - During the government of Eng. Sócrates, you don't remember making some puns with the words national-socialists?
Witness - No, I don't remember, no.
Lawyer – ‘This socialism that is national-socialism’, you don't recall?
Witness - I know what it is but I don't remember Mr. President having...
Lawyer - You don't remember that?
Witness - No, no, no, no
Lawyer - And fascists, do you remember? Who were the fascists? Who were the fascists?
Witness - I don't know. Not a clue… I mean, Mr President has talked about fascism etc etc, which also exists, fascism.
Lawyer – Let’s see, can you identify anyone as being the target of this speech of the President of the Regional Government?
Witness – No, no, no, no