"SEF, in compliance with the determination of the Minister of the Interior, Eduardo Cabrita, paid, as a matter of urgency, the compensation to the heirs of the citizen Ihor Homeniuk, following the dispatch of the Prime Minister, António Costa, on 12 January," the ministry said in a statement.

According to the same source, the information on the payment of this compensation, which was set by the Ombudsman, has already been communicated to the lawyer of the family of Mr Ihor Homeniuk.

"This payment by the State takes place under the extrajudicial mechanism of voluntary, agile and simple, aimed at determining and paying swiftly the said compensation for loss and damage, non-pecuniary and property, approved for this purpose by the Resolution of the Council of Ministers, of 14 December," the ministry also said.

Mr Meniuk, of Ukrainian nationality, died in March last year in the temporary detention centre of the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) at Lisbon airport.

The start of the trial of Ihor Homeniuk's alleged murder by SEF inspectors was postponed to 2 February, said source involved in the case.

According to the same source, the postponement was due to the fact that one of the defence lawyers was infected with the new coronavirus, which led the collective of judges, presided over by Rui Coelho, to postpone the start of the trial.

The trial took place after the MP accused three SEF inspectors of the murder of the Ukrainian citizen, which occurred on 12 March 2020, at the Temporary Installation Centre of Lisbon Airport.

According to the indictment, the SEF inspectors are also accused of possession of a forbidden weapon.

The three inspectors - Bruno Sousa, Duarte Laja and Luís Silva - have been under house arrest since their arrest on 30 March and are accused of killing Ihor Homenyuk after the Ukrainian citizen tried to enter Portugal illegally on 10 March.