Former socialist prime minister, José Sócrates, indicted for crimes of abuse of power, corruption and money laundering, has demanded the removal of judge Carlos Alexandre who is due to preside over the court proceedings resulting from Operation Marques.
At issue is a SIC interview in which the judge made comments far outside his professional remit. Sócrates’ lawyers already have applied to the Court of Appeal in Lisbon to have judge Alexandre removed from the case.
Lawyers acting for former Prime Minister José Sócrates said that as of Sunday, September 4th, their client should have been able to contact the other defendants in Operation Marquês.
Joao Araujo and Pedro Delille argue that Sócrates is no longer subject to any coercive measure in the case that saw him detained for about 10 months in Évora prison.
The publisher of Portuguese daily newspaper Correio da Manhã has been banned from publishing news about Operation Marquês and José Sócrates’ role in the intricate web of corruption that led to his arrest and imprisonment.
The former prime minister’s lawyers successfully obtained an injunction against Cofina, owner of the title and others all of which now are banned from covering the case which is soon to keep the nation enthralled as to the depths of corrupt practices in the corridors of power in Portugal.
José Sócrates’ defence lawyers say that 80 pages are missing from the Operation Marquês file.
The former prime minister is being investigated for tax fraud and money laundering and his lawyers yesterday picked up what they expected to be the complete dossier of allegations against their client.
The game continues as lawyers acting for former Prime Minister José Sócrates were this morning denied their copy of the evidence against him.
Claiming ‘technical difficulties,’ the Central Department of Investigation and Penal Action claimed that its workers were still scanning the documents and could not hand over the disc.
Portugal’s state prosecutor said that there is no further risk that José Sócrates could disturb the evidence gathering in Operation Marquês.
Starting today, José Sócrates can leave his home whenever he wants and travel freely within Portugal, but not overseas unless he is granted permission by Judge Carlos Alexandre.
José Sócrates’ lawyers at last can review the list of accusations levelled against their client as the game of legal cat and mouse ended after a three week battle to have the charges made available.
The former prime minister is central to Operation Marquês in which he soon will be formally accused of qualified tax fraud, money laundering and accepting bribes.
A book released today covering the events leading up to José Sócrates’ arrest in 2014 reveals that the former prime minister received large sums of cash several times a month and was continuously hitting his credit card limit when living a life of luxury in Paris.
Deliveries of money were made to Sócrates, arranged by his friend Carlos Santos Silva, three times a month on average to support his spending while studying.