Lawyers launch appeal as Lowry gets nine years

British law professor David Lowry plans to appeal to the Portuguese Supreme Court after being sentenced to nine years in prison on fraud and forgery charges.

Lowry's friends and law-yers were shocked at the verdict last Friday. They said Portuguese authorities failed to understand the international financial market, and were making an example of him.

The prosecution had only asked the court for an eight-year sentence.

Gudrun Parasie, his English lawyer, says: “The trial was based on mere suspicion. The judge did not refer to any proven facts or evidence [in sentencing]. We were all expecting him to be free tonight, to be honest.”

Craig Heesch, a former FBI operative and friend, says Lowry, already imprisoned for two years, will serve at least another two, and his appeal will take a year.

A case against Portugal in the European Court of Human Rights would proceed, but would not influence the sentence.

Lowry and Heesch told The Lawyer that they are working with the FBI on a US$1bn international money laundering investigation.

See prison interview page 11