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Emilia Pires Case : CAC Investigate Former National Hospital Featured

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The former Director of the Guido Valadares National Hospital, Odete Viegas was questioned by the Anti-Corruption Commission (CAC) Yesterday, Monday 18 February, as a witness in the case of the Finance Minister Emilia Pires who is suspected of abuse of power. 

"I was questioned on my position as former hospital director, and the questions put to me by the CAC, former 5 questions, like, about my role in the annual budget planning process," Odete Viegas explained to journalists after her interview at the CAC office in Farol, yesterday. 

Odete explained that the National Hospital did need to procure beds for patients. "Because if you look at the beds that are being used at the National Hospital, we have 340 which makes it impossible for us to respond to these things, but at the same time we are not only looking at beds but must also look at other things such as equipment for our work," Viegas added during the interview. 

She confirmed that at the moment she signed documents she was only requisitioning to buy 2 machines and 2 beds. 

According to weekly Tempo Semanal newspaper edition, November 27th 2012, published an interview with the director of the National Hospital Odete da Silva Viegas, said that in her letter of request, ref.130/adm/HNGV/III, to the deputy minister of health, Madalena Hanjan, she did not request the equipment supplied by the company Mac's Metalcraft Pty Ltd, owned by Warren McLeod, the husband of the finance minister, Emilia Pires.  

 The former Director of Dili National Hospital confirmed the details   of her request letter to the former deputy minister of health, Madalena Hanjan, dated 22 March 2012 which she only requested the urgent purchase of medical equipment relating to the work of the haemodialysis unit, being 2 haemodialysis machines and 2 beds and consumables relating to the work of the haemodialysis unit. Even though her request was the only one used to justified the released of contingency fund for single source project which goes to Finance Minister husband. 

According to a list annexed and signed by the National Director of NALA, Leao Borges, S.Sos. MPH, the head of the Medical Equipment Management Department, Avelino Afonso Brites and the former Deputy Minister of health, Madalena FNH Costa Soares Bsn, a total budget was proposed in the amount of $2,004,100.00 to supply 17 itemised equipment to the hospital and health centres.  

 However, when the request was sent to the Finance Minister, Emilia Pires, the first 5 items of equipment on the procurement list were items to be supplied by the company Mac's Metalcraft.  

Deputy Commissioner of East Timor Anti Corruption Commission said it's all the evidence shows it's clear indication of conflict of Interest. 

" These items to be acquired should not have been classed as emergency items.  They just invented this criteria," Deputy Anti-Corruption Commissioner Jose Neves said. 

Deputy Anti Corruption Commissioner, "there is definitely a conflict of interest, because  these cases of an emergency or single sourcing have to meet certain criteria according to the procurement law." 

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